Yesterday while browsing twitter I came across a hashtag named #Amandatodds. Frankly speaking I had never heard her story before, but after looking at this hashtag, i was intrigued to check about it, and when I did, I was in tears. I read the story of this 1 5 year old girl Amanda Todds from Canada who committed suicide after a long ongoing cyber bullying. She killed herself last October in 2012. When I saw her ‘You Tube video’ I was very disheartened. She seemed helpless and asking for help. She killed herself two months after posting this video.
here it is:
While going through her case I came across two more such cases: Rehtaeh Parsons and Hannah Smith. Rehtaeh ( I would call her Rae as a short form) was gang raped when she was 14 years old and she committed suicide when she was 17. Three long years of Cyber bullying and she died. Hannah was just 14 and she killed herself after getting some threats on ask.fm, a popular teen site.
Reading such cases raises severe question regarding usage of social media. The medium has lost its true meaning of creation. While it is really helpful for people to be in touch with each other and to share things, there are some negative impacts of the same medium on teens. Teenagers and their thinking need to be controlled by their parents. I understand you would love giving freedom to your son or daughter and would not want to interfere in their lives but do you wish to do this at the cost of their lives?? Amanda was 14 when she started chatting with unknown persons online and it was during those days when a man lured her towards showing him her breasts. He took a snap shot of that image and the same image was use against her finally leading toward she suicide. Same happened to Rae. While she was raped she was high on alcohol and was sick. Some high school teenager took her snap while making out which was later circulating throughout the internet and mobile phones. She went under depression and the hospital where she was getting the treatment repeated the procedure. 2 male nurses at the hospital strip checked her and added to her pain.
Amanda tried killing herself before her actual death using bleach. She tried drinking bleach and you know what there are people on internet still making fun of her with a pic of bleach. I found many such tweets insulting her death and it made me cry!! How can someone be so disgraceful. Same with Rehtaeh!!!! There are shameless people existing on this planet and those tweets are example of it!!
Being an Indian when I read such cases I feel strange regarding how can parents allow their kids to be so careless. Here in our country we are not given this much freedom and even if some are given, their percentage is very less. We have to keep our parents informed about everything and such stories make me feel that our culture is right and correct. A teen mind is very innocent and teenagers fail to notice the difference between right and wrong. Their world runs on competing: “Sally has a bf and I don’t..i should get one soon” – imagine a 14 year girl thinking this way. We do not have our own separate homes and we live with our parents and that is keeping us safer. Again – I would like to say I am not against the western culture and freedom is necessary but all I am pointing out is keeping a check on your babies. If you find something unusual do not ignore it and it’s for your own baby that you need to go in depth of it. Sometimes the stress of dealing with cyberbullying can cause kids to feel like the situation is more than they can handle. They would get suicidal thoughts and many would end up doing it. Is it so difficult to keep a watch on the safety of your child?
• Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber bullying
• About half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly
• Mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyber bullying
• Girls are at least as likely as boys to be cyber bullies or their victims
• Boys are more likely to be threatened by cyber bullies than girls
• Cyber bullying affects all races
• Cyber bullying victims are more likely to have low self esteem and to consider suicide
Legislation geared at penalizing cyberbullying has been introduced in a number of U.S. states including New York, Missouri, Rhode Island and Maryland. At least seven states passed laws against digital harassment in 2007. Dardenne Prairie of Springfield, Missouri, passed a city ordinance making online harassment a misdemeanor. The city of St. Charles, Missouri has passed a similar ordinance. Missouri is among other states where lawmakers are pursuing state legislation, with a task forces expected to have “cyberbullying” laws drafted and implemented. In June, 2008, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) proposed a federal law that would criminalize acts of cyberbullying. (Wikipedia)
States With Highest Level of Bullying
2 New York
This indeed makes me sad. Where are our teachings and ethics. Cant we teach the difference between wrong and right to our kids??? The children’s who lost their lives to cyber bullying would be remembered forever and their families are pushed towards a long lasting pain.
Different people would have different views regarding how to prevent this issue but I would stills tick to it “Charity begins at home” similarly taking actions should start from your own house. Teach your children what is worng and what is right!! Do not keep them in dark regarding these cases. In fact these cases should be used as examples and they should be taught at a young age regarding the harmful effects of using internet.
(The three discussed cases have lot more inside it!!!! )
“RIP beautiful girls!! world would remember you always!!!”