by Busayo Akindona | @Frankie_sayhi
The creation of social media has opened up the door for people all over the world to connect and interact with each other instantaneously. It bridged the gap between distance, language, and culture. Social media also created a new and more permanent form of bullying. 70% of teens ages 13 to 17 experiences bullying on at least one social media platform.
We all know someone personally or know of someone who has been bullied online. Cyberbullying is one of the most hurtful ways of bullying. Social media is so public and with a click of a button a post can go viral, being shared and re-tweeted by people across the globe. A study by the National Crime Prevention Council found that 81% of youths who bullied someone online did so because they thought it was funny. In some cases, photos are shared by friends and then people from all over the world give their opinion and sometimes not in a nice way.
This was the case for Keisha Johnson. In 2014, a picture tha
t Keisha’s friend posted on Instagram was copied and turned into a viral meme. This led to bullying on Keisha’s personal account.
We feel more confident from behind a screen. We find the confidence to say things that we probably won’t say in public. I encourage everyone to think before they post. The things we say and share have an effect on people. You can’t just say “well it’s just a joke” or “they need to get over it”. Cyberbullying a lot of times can lead to suicide and in some cases even homicide. We have to some people the same decency and respect we would like to receive.
October is Anti-bullying month, a national campaign created by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to educate people about cyberbullying and ultimately eradicate it. They challenge people to report and unfriend accounts and friends that post hurtful material. They hope that it doesn’t just last a month, but that everybody will stand up together and give a voice to someone who is hurting.
A. (n.d.). What is Cyberbullying. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/
National Bullying Prevention Center – National Bullying Prevention Month. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/
Sarkisova, G. (2014, July 08). ‘Confused Face’ Meme Girl Keisha Johnson Suing Instagram For $500 Million [UPDATE]. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/07/confused-face-meme-sues-instagram
Stop Cyberbullying Before It Start. (2014, January 1). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/cyberbullying.pdf