The Globe and Mail states that “We are witnessing a growing number of tragedies from cyberbullying, most recently the tragic losses of Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia and Amanda Todd in British Columbia.” Rehtaeh Parsons took her life by hanging herself after being cyberbullied because of a picture. The picture was apparently of her being sexually assaulted and it was passed around her school. Amanda Todd took her life on October of 2012. She took her life because she was being cyberbullied by a cyber-stalker and eventually couldn’t handle it anymore. These deaths could've been prevented if the parents or adult figures in these teenagers' lives realized what their kids were doing online and took action.
Words can hurt and cause extreme damages, the damages being suicide, self harm, depression and more. According to The Globe and Mail, “most bullies or those being bullied are children and youth.” Also Bullying Statistics says that “over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online.” Where do kids learn to treat other kids so horribly while on social networking sites? The answer that makes the most sense is they learn it from seeing the comments on networking sites and think it is okay to talk to people they do or don’t know in harsh or judgemental ways. In order to better prevent kids from bullying other kids online is to show them what the right thing to do is to begin with. Most kids don’t know how much damage their words cause, and it’s because of what they are witnessing both online and face to face.
My Secure Cyberspace states that “cyberbullying takes place over the Internet and mobile devices in ways that could be completely hidden from the knowledge of parents, guardians and school staff.” With this being said, parents allow their children to have access to technology like cell phones, computers, and other devices, trusting them to use irresponsibly. According to Marketing Land, 94% of teenagers use Facebook. What most parents don’t know is that their kids are really abusing their power and using their technology in a way that hurts other people. Now don’t get me wrong, not all kids are like this and don’t go raiding your child’s phone because of what I am telling you, but really know that you should be aware of both your child’s behavior and the way they treat others.
An opposing argument that people could make in regards to parents or adult figures getting involved would be that kids should have freedom of speech as stated in the First Amendment. According to ABA Journal, a bill is being proposed by Indiana’s House of Representatives. This bill would give parents and teachers the power to punish students for treating people harshly online whether or not it is happening inside or outside of schools. However, there are people that would argue that this is going against the First Amendment stating that everyone has the right to say what they want. But when are kids going too far and when should adults have to power to take action in stopping what is said online.
Freedom of speech is definitely something to think about when it comes to leaving comments online. But when is it too much and when should adults have the right to stop and punish kids for what they write online? Parents cannot afford to be checked out, they need to check in and start being aware of what is happening online.
Update: November 14, 2013
Conclusion: Ultimately I didn't learn much about cyberbullying other than what I already knew. However, the comments that other bloggers left on my blog helped me to consider other options on how to deal with cyberbullying. For example teaching kids at a young age how to act responsibly on the internet. Teaching kids how to be more responsible from a young age is a huge thing and probably would have a major effect on cyberbullying. It would have a major effect because if you learn how to do something from a young age, then it helps you remember how to act when you start to get older. The comments that were left on my blog made it clear that telling an adult isn't always going to solve the problem immediately or at all, especially in the case of cyberbullying. However, I do believe that telling an adult would indeed help lessen the amount of people that cyberbully. Although these comments didn’t make me change my mind about the way to deal with cyberbullying, they really opened my mind and made me think that maybe teaching kids when they are young how to act appropriately on the internet is a smart thing to do especially if you want them to learn how to act responsibly when they grown up both online and face to face.