Bullying, Then and Now By Malvina Giannoulis

Bullying has been something we are taught not to do since elementary school. There have been assemblies, lessons, movies, and other such things shown to us countless times over the course of many years. The whole reason we are taught these things is to treat people right and fairly, but why is it that many overlook this whole concept?

Different from what it was in elementary school or even some of middle school, bullying has changed drastically due to one thing, technology. When we were younger, bullying would be excluding a certain person from something, calling names, physical violence, and more, but now bullying is mostly based off social networking.

The reason bullying has increased, or seems to have gotten worse, is that people believe that hiding behind a screen and saying something bad about someone is a whole lot easier than saying it in person. They also think that they will have a better chance of getting away with it. However, this is even worse because once you type something and post it, no matter if you delete it or not, there is always a way to get back to it. “Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won’t get caught, but there are many ways to track someone who is cyber bullying,” reported in an online website all about cyber bullying.

A perfect example of what cyberbullying can do is the ABC Family film, Cyberbully. This is a movie about a young girl who receives her own laptop for her seventeenth birthday, then decides to join a social networking site. First, her brother hacks her account and posts false information about her, then starts rumours about her and calls her names. The situation gets worse and worse and she attempts to kill herself, failing.

If you ask around, many people have watched this movie and said it has impacted them a lot, it is one of many that involve cyberbullying. Movies like this can send such a strong message to people and make them really think about something they say or do before it is actually done. It shows that just a small joke or remark can hurt someone more than you think.

The question still is why do people bully? Some answers are unknown and some are easily found out. Maybe the person feels insecure about themselves and says bad things about other people to make them feel better. Or maybe they are bullied, so they bully others. It could be out of jealousy, wanting something they can’t have and disliking someone because they do. Whatever the reason is, there are ways to help you cope with what you are feeling instead of taking it out on others.

Bullying can affect more people than you think. “More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online,” reports Cyber Bullying Statistics.

Another is, “About half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly.”

These facts show that bullying is real, and does happen in everyday life, not just in movies. It is most important to think before you act and take into consideration someone elses’ feelings. It is also important that if you see or witness bullying to not be afraid to speak to an adult if you think the situation is getting too severe. You could be a friend to a victim, just by comforting them while giving them advice.