This morning we were reminded of 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick’s horrific suicide death as a result of her being bullied by others in school when authorities made two arrests of other young pre/teenage girls. It’s brought to light that they made comments on social media websites that showed they had no “disregard for life” of Sedwick. Additionally, there is more information about how Sedwick was bullied, which includes cyber-bullying. Posting comments on social networks and having others post similar nasty comments that hurt the young girl.
A few years back I wrote a blog post about why I believe Facebook (and all social networks that aren’t geared directly towards children) should be 18+. I’d like to revisit that and piggyback on the fact that children (by children, I mean those under 18) are targeted from all angles with the Internet, their mobile phones, Television and even in school through sponsorship and advertisements. It’s the “information-overload” era. Now, they are able to communicate more readily than in previous years. Images and video are most popular among the pre-teen and young teen crowds. I’m sure any sociologist will tell you that this is an extremely vulnerable stage of life for girls especially. How can we allow young girls access to post whatever they want, hurting whomever they want, for the entire world to see. Back in the day, we couldn’t hide behind a computer. If a bully wanted to make fun of another kid, then he or she had to do it to their face…in front of others. This does not make it any less right (it’s wrong, plain and simple), but fewer children have the audacity to do something like that. Hiding behind a computer creates a persona that doesn’t exist in real life. It’s awful. This is sad. My two cents is that something needs to be done about children (parents, schools, whomever) using the Internet as a tool to boost their own self-esteem, demolish someone else’s and eventually ruin lives.
In case you missed my old blog post, here it is again. Rebecca and her family are in our thoughts and prayers. Let us learn a lesson from this and take a stance against cyber-bullying.