Have you ever been bullied, belittled or harassed? At one point or another we’ve all, in some way, experienced bullying. Whether you are the victim or the bully, it is constantly taking place. Young adults and teenagers all over the country today have been harassed and bullied on the internet, to the extreme. The hurtful words and threats posted, to be seen by anyone, never go away and have caused severe depression and multiple suicides. Why should anyone get away with harming another, not only emotionally, but also mentally to the point that they feel they have no hope left?
Physical harm and threats are no longer the only form of bullying in today’s society nor is it the most hurtful. With all of the technology we have at the tip of our fingers, bullying is becoming much more popular on the web. Words can be just as upsetting, if not worse than inflicting physical pain on another human being. Teens have taken their own lives due to racial, religious, and sexual slurs posted in comments on the internet or sent as e-mails. 17 year old Eric Mohat was a victim of such abuse. He committed suicide when a bully stated, “Why don’t you go home and kill yourself? No one will miss you,” in front of a group of peers. Eric Mohat was teased repeatedly with cruel names relating to one’s sexuality. Mohat unfortunately did just what his bullies told him to, and killed himself. Tyler Clementi was another target for harassment when his roommate apparently posted a video of him having sexual intercourse with another man on the web. Obviously, this is a reoccurring problem.
Social networking sites and technology such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace make it far easier and convenient for people to tease and torment online. Facebook comments and text messages containing terribly hurtful or demeaning thoughts about someone can be seen by not only the target but the entire Facebook community once that enter key is pushed. Bullies are not just leaving these words for the victim to think about and dwell on but they are also humiliating them for everyone else to see. Many teens may feel that they cannot get away from the bullying because it occurs every time they go on the computer, check their phones or walk down the hall at school.
Teens have a harder time getting help from adults when the bullying takes place online. Many adults may think cyber bullying is not a big deal because your bully isn’t physically hurting you; some may think any kind of bullying isn’t a problem. When there isn’t physical harm inflicted it can be more difficult for school authorities to punish bullies as well. However, bullying should not be tolerated in any way, shape or form.
There are solutions to stop bullying completely and get victims help. Adults, parents, teachers, friends and school authorities need to take a closer look at the bullying that occurs online and the health of the victims of this terrible act. Bullying is an increasing problem, with teen suicide rates up, that needs to be solved immediately.