By Adriana Zakir
Stepping into the social media world is like entering a haunted house.
Everything looks rather peaceful at first so we continue to wander around to satisfy our curiosity. One night, we start becoming vulnerable to the predators of this haunted house. Unaware of the consequences of this fictional world, we gain false sense of comfort. Next thing we know, the information we wouldn’t be comfortable sharing floats around uncontrollably over the internet. We try so hard to fight back and run away, just as we thought we’ve escaped, the memory haunts us back endlessly.
The ghosts of this haunted house will be the stars of our nightmare.
In reality, no one wants to experience this. Getting cyberbullied drives an individual into an abyss. According to a study, mental and psychological issues including suicidal thoughts are inevitable effects from getting bullied. On February 7 2018, parents to Megan Evans, 14, found their daughter dead in her room. Police investigation put cyberbullying as a likely cause to her suicide. In fact, this is not the first suicide caused by cyberbullying. Yet, many parents and schools underlooked this highly alarming matter due to lack of communication on this matter.
Many parents and schools have little to no knowledge on this issue because of the generation gap and little expose to social media. However, it’s not too late to find out more:
Here are some steps you can follow as a measure to address this problem as well as to prevent it from happening:
- If your child/student is constantly on social media, advise them to be more productive.
- Ask if they are experiencing or have experienced cyberbullying.
- Take actions against cyberbullies. This can be done online by blocking or reporting the account(s).
- As for schools, create a campaign on anti- cyberbullying. Constantly remind them that cyberbullies are a disgrace to the community and actions will be taken against those people.
- Create a series of counselling sessions for students who got bullied.
- Punish those who are responsible for this unethical act. Track down anonymous users (most schools have this authority/get police involved).
I truly sympathize with victims of cyberbullying who took their lives.
Cyberbullying is as bad as any other kind of bullying and many issues have been linked to this.
Changes are indeed required and I urge all parents and teachers to keep pouring in effort in attempt to completely abolish this.
- Taylor, Joshua. “‘Words Can’t Be Taken Back’: Mum’s Heartbreaking Warning to Snapchat
- Cyber-Bullies Who Drove Daughter, 14, to Suicide.” Mirror, 11 Feb. 2018.
- “Prevent Cyberbullying.” StopBullying.gov, www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/prevention/index.html.