Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cyberbullying. Not just for teenagers.


Cyberbullying is a word we had to learn when all these social networks popped up on the WWW.  What exactly is cyberbullying? 

Cyberbullying "involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others."

As you know if you are a follower of this blog then you how I detest bullies.  I had a bully there for awhile when I was growing up and she made my life miserable.  I wish I could say that I no longer hate this person but I cannot.  I've tried to find good in her but I am not able to.  I still think ALL BULLIES are cowards and hurting others makes them feel superior. 

So, you can see how furious I became when my close friend was subjected to cyberbully the other day on Facebook.  Let me explain.

My friend is on Facebook.  We went to high school together.  We have become good friends over the past year and talk every single day now.  She is single and has reconnected with a few single guys that we went to school with.  She's having fun and I am happy that she is enjoying life.  Consenting adults can do that you know?

So she reconnected with this one guy.  Lets call him Chuck.  She thought he was cute.  They flirted on Facebook.  They texted on their phones.  She was interested in Chuck.  After all they are consenting adults.  Right?

Then another person on Facebook learns that my friend and Chuck are talking to each other.  Lets call her Tammy.  Apparently she is friends with Chuck and has been since high school.  This girl Tammy doesn't like my friend.  So when she found out there might be a love connection between them she was angry.  I really wouldn't say angry, perhaps she was jealous.  After all she is married or living with some guy anyway and has kids.  So instead of feeling all bent out of shape shouldn't she had felt happy that two single people may have a connection and be happy?

Tammy called Chuck to tell him of her hated for my friend.  This is where is gets to the cyberbullying part.  Tammy encourages Chuck to get pervy with my friend on the cell phone.  Asking for inappropriate photos of her.  Talking about a booty call and all.  

A COMPLETELY different Chuck that my friend had been talking to.  

Real adult behavior for people in their late 30's!!!  RIGHT?!?!?!?

Thankfully Tammy was stupid to brag about her cyberbullying to another person on Facebook who in turn lets my friend know what is going on.  

My friend was crushed that someone would actually be so low to do something like that to her.  Something so hurtful to another human being. 

My friend called this Tammy chick to confront her and of course she denied it but my friend had hard evidence.  AN EMAIL that had been sent on Facebook confirming that Tammy had indeed instigated the whole affair. 

I was just in shock over the whole thing.  SERIOUSLY!!!  People in their late 30's acting like hormonal teenagers in high school.  Don't we know better than this?!??!  DO people really not care about others??  Since Chuck and Tammy have children are they going to teach them that cyberbullying is okay.  If you don't like something that is going on then go cyberbully them???

It scares me that people are so stupid.  Stupid people shouldn't be allowed to breed.  JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION!!!  So don't be sending me hate EMAIL or don't start cyberbullying me either.

I'm really encouraging my friend to take legal action in this cyberbullying.  There is an email and cell phone records as evidence.  I think we need to teach people a lesson when they do something so childish to others.

Cyberbullying is a serious offense and we need to punish these people and put a stop to it!!!!  Our kids are being affected by it.  I have been doing research on it this morning on wikipedia.. 

This 2004 survey of 1,500 students between grades 4-8 reported:

    * 42% of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once.
    * 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five had had it happen more than once.
    * 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails or other messages.
    * 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten say it has happened more than once.
    * 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

A 2006 survey by Harris Interactive reported:

    * 43% of U.S. teens having experienced some form of cyberbullying in the past year.

I tried to find a recent survey but was unable to.

Please teach your children it is not okay to bully or cyberbully anyone!!!!  If they are being bullied then I hope they come to you so you can handle the situation.  And if you are an adult and CYBERBULLYING then you are an idiot and should have your computer taken away from you.
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