Within the last 10 years our ways of communication have changed drastically. In this small bit of time we have come from home phones and praying that someone answers, to being able to send our exact location to our friends and family and get ahold of anyone at any time of the day. Everyone has become so comfortable with letting other people know where we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re feeling all the time.
We all know and understand that social media can definitely affect our emotions. Everyone has had an incidence or two of being upset with rude posts, crying over a video, or even celebrating with good news from friends. What people may not know is how it could literally impact your personal life and how others may view you. Once your pictures or posts are out there, they are out there forever. There is no taking those things back. Anyone can take your pictures from the internet and save them or screenshot them just to reuse them for their own reasons or amusement.
With the continuous uprise of social media, cyberbullying is a growing concern for teens all over. Cyberbullying happens when someone uses technology platforms to write embarrassing, hateful, or angry messages about others in attempt to harass or control another person. With all of this high online activity, teens either are victim of cyberbullying, witness it, or even become a cyberbully themselves. Even with this issue growing stronger and stronger each day, it’s often underestimated.
This topic includes rude comments, posts, texts, or even hate pages. I too have once been a victim of cyberbullying. Growing up in middle school with the constant rise of social media, I was always involved with it-- everyone was. If you didn’t have an Instagram account you were almost considered “uncool”. It started with random hateful comments under my pictures, but this soon grew into something more. I walked into school one day and noticed lots of people were starting at me. Being the person I was, I just moved on, minding my own business. My best friend pulled me to the side in the hallway and pulled up Instagram on her phone. She asked me if I had seen “it” yet. Confused I just nodded my head no as she continued to pull up a page with the name “@hate4hannuh”. As she scrolled through the posts I was astonished by some of the things that were being said about me. There were pictures of me that were photoshopped to make me look at certain way with crude captions, naming all kinds of things that weren’t true. My jaw dropped as well as my self-esteem. The rest of that school day I walked through the hallways with my head low trying not to make eye contact with everyone staring at me.
That night I went to my parents about this. Eventually we had to get the police involved. They continued with the posts and there was nothing we could do, no matter how many times we reported the account. Everyday I felt more and more eyes on me at school as a greater number of students found the hate page. I felt like the biggest joke in the school.
Despite all of the terrible posts about me, there were lots of people who would comment under the posts saying how they have no right to say things like that. They were defending me. Everyone started reporting the account and blocking whoever the creator of it was. Soon enough, everyone was on my side.
After a few weeks of the page still being up the cops were finally able to trace the page down to one specific computer.. My bestfriend’s. I was heartbroken and hurt. My own best friend was against me. The one who told me from the start about the hate page, was actually the one behind all of this.
Cyberbullying is dangerous. It’s anonymous and public 24/7. If someone is bullying another person as school, when they leave the day is over. But with cyberbullying, it follows you home and can continue all night. That’s why cyberbullying can be so hurtful; it’s public, and it spreads quickly. If you’re being cyberbullied I advise you to tell an adult that you trust and save everything. Don’t keep these things to yourself and tell someone as soon as you can, before it gets worse.