With today’s technology Bullying has become easier then ever; youths of this generation do not even need to have a personal confrontation. Cyber bullying can be defined as any communication posted or sent by any interactive device that is intended to frighten, embarrass, or harass and is disturbingly common among the Canadian youths. Research has shown that more than 55% of all Canadian youths aged 12-17 has a social networking account. But if misused, it can leave us vulnerable. Teens could be affected both physically and mentally. Words are more powerful than you think. Even if it is not a direct physical attack, they can still cause a lot of damage. What one posts online can stay there forever. Older youth tend to use the Internet more often so therefore has a greater chance of getting cyberbullied. A large number of youth and their parents think that this type of bullying is not a big enough deal to cause problems.
However, it has been proven that a victim of cyber bullying can be lead to serious disorders for the future. One seventh grader named Sarah Lynn Butler committed suicide due to her incapability of handling the messages she got online. On the morning before her suicide, the last message she read was: “she was easily forgotten, and that she was just a stupid little naive girl and nobody would miss her” (Pure Sight, Resource Centre). Everyone has their own method when it comes to handling online messages and there would be a different consequence for each solution. Unfortunately, not everyone is knowledgeable enough to approach their problems the correct way and many chooses to escape them rather than to face them.
One of the ways teens use to hide away their fear is to self harm for they believe if they hurt themselves then they would not feel the pain inside. Some even choose to take drugs so they could keep their mind off their issues and hide away in their temporary happiness. Not only did social networking sites take away the privacy and secure of children, they also took away their precious time used to study for future careers. 20 years ago children would come home studying or going out for extracurricular. But now the first thing teens do when they get home is to lie on the coach and go on their electronics and start texting. Has social networking sites really served there purpose as helping making the world a better place? Or has it just become a tool for certain people to create unnecessary conflicts and for teens to waste their time?
All those problems are resulted due to the use of social networking sites. Children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to use them for their own safety. Most bullies do not realize that they are being mean or hurtful. It is easy to forget that there is a real life person with feeling behind that screen. Communicate with a person face to face so therefore you would not misunderstand their words. The best way to stop the bullying is to not be a bully yourself. Do not write or text something you would not say in person. Someone else could take what may be a harmless joke to you as an insult. To prevent yourself a victim of cyberbullying, be smart online. Do not share your personal information with anyone you do not know and let us make the world a safe environment for everyone.