What can youth do to tackle cyberbullying before it goes too far?

Hannah McGaughey
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How would you feel, if after a day of being tormented at school by your bullies, they followed you home? Unfortunately, this is a devastating reality that many adolescents face on a daily basis due to cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying (bullying people via the internet) is growing at an alarming rate, yet it is not receiving the attention it deserves. I feel it is not being seen to be as harmful as it truly is. I also feel the subject is often given a “kids will be kids” response. And yes, I agree very much so, kids will be kids—but kids are capable of being very mean, both in real life, and on the internet. As youth, I believe that we have a great deal of power to bring awareness to the reality of cyberbullying. By simply talking about the subject, we remove many of the taboos that are associated with it. As a community, I believe that we should stand up for those who are being bullied and ultimately, refrain from bullying in every way, shape, and form. This includes ignoring the problem and gossiping.

The reason many people cyberbully, and do so continuously, is because they feel they cannot be held accountable for their actions. For this reason, I believe those who cyberbully should be confronted in person about their behaviour, so they can truly understand the impact of their actions. Not in a violent or shameful manner, but in a safe environment with the parties involved and a trusted adult to act as a mediator.

Though bullying is an issue that, sadly, will never be “solved”, I have faith that if we hold ourselves accountable for our own actions and show kindness towards one another, tomorrow may be just a bit better.

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