Friday, October 12, 2012

Stand Up Against Cyberbullying

Sad news. One more death due to online activities.

I remember as a young boy I enjoy playing football (or soccer in North American contexts). A few of us will come together to form two teams. Sometimes, it will be divided on the basis of class names. Other times, it will be based on ethnicity, nationality, or sometimes in random ways. We always have fun kicking the ball around, scoring goals, and cheering our own team. On one of those days, a tall bully a few grades older will invade the pitch, kick the ball far away, and taunt us little ones. We can do nothing about it. He is a mean bully.

I remember asking myself why such weirdos exist. Actually, weirdo is too nice a term. Why then do such nincompoops ever exist! Go pick on people your own size!

A) The New Media for Bullying: CyberBullying

Fast forward thirty years, and I see that bullying on the pitch has moved on to a new platform. The bullying is the same, but the medium has evolved from offline to the online world. With the ubiquitous Internet and social media, it has become very easy for all people to get onto the world wide wide at the click of a button. Software has become so easy to use, intuitive to understand, that young children are unwittingly putting numerous photos and their own personal information online for anyone to see. Friends see it. Teachers sometimes know it. Parents may even peek it. In such an open space, bullies lurk.

This week, one girl becomes a sad case of cyberbullying that begins with cyberstalking or online threats. Using her own photos against her, one anonymous guy threatens her with bullying. Last month, Amanda Todd, a teenager from Port Coquitlam, posted a video of her "hell," with music on the background and flipping little notes online, she described her journey of being bullied, humiliated, and ostracized, that led her to changing school, taking antidepressants, counseling, and even contemplating suicide. She even created a special video on cyberbullying. Two days ago, Amanda Todd was found dead in her home. She took her own life.


Links to Resources against Cyberbullying
  • If in BC, call 1-800-SUICIDE or go to this website.
  • Stop Cyberbullying (link)
  • CBC article on cyberbullying (link)


peter said...

Yap, this is such a prevalent problem. Its so 'normal' to see abuse on the internet, especially on the comments sections of popular sites, forums, you name it.

I read this story a while ago, about a sikh woman, who was abused for her appearance. But her grace and courage won the hearts of the people on the forum. Its truly inspiring

All of this only shows, how wrong a lot of philosophies these days say - people aren't born innocent and pure. Its so obvious that we all are a sinful and wrong bunch, just that there are many who hide it behind a veil of spirituality, goodness, works.

Only Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit can change us all from the inside. We all need him

peter said...

By the way, the little story of the grandpa and the grandchild - Its lovely! :)

Conrade Yap, (Dr) said...

I remember that video. It is something those of us who respond on impulse, especially negative impulses, to learn to replace negativity with some positivity. It reminds me of the word from Proverbs 25:11

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

Thanks for commenting.


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