Saturday, 31 August 2013

Cyberbullying

Today at the Dugdale centre which is a library/museum/theatre/ice cream parlour (seriously ha ha) situated in my local community...there was a seminar on about being aware of cyber bullying and how to prevent it and how parents can monitor their children's activity on-line. I was actually asked by the really lovely lady who organised it, if I would talk about the effects of cyber bullying. It was a really good experience and turns out the local newspapers were there so I had my photo taken quite a few times and was interviewed along with another young girl who spoke about the facts of cyber bullying.

Had a lot of lovely comments from people once I had finished which is always great to hear.

Thankfully I have never been the victim of proper cyber bullying but have had experience with internet trolls earlier this year. A couple of american kids made a twitter account regarding the death of our cat, Smudge and began insulting him and using the account to tweet insults about me- it was a pure example of how internet trolls and cyber bullies will find your vulnerable side and use it to their advantage to try and get to a person. I'm glad that I didn't allow it to get to me and I was aware and I did tell my parents plus I reported the account. It was deleted after countless times reporting the account.

But a lot of young people aren't aware.

So many will try to deal with it on their own- some will keep quiet, many will retaliate and argue with them, but this is what the bullies want, we all know that internet trolls and cyber bullies only want a reaction. I feel like keeping quiet is better, but keep quiet on the internet, don't let yourself deal with it on your own, it's probably the worst thing to do.

Although I fortunately have not experienced serious cyber-bullying; I see it and have experienced internet trolls and I know people who have. Things won't change unless people make some noise- right now this is only something small launched in a small borough in North London, but one day it will be bigger. As someone who uses social media a lot I know just how much it can be used for good; I write my blog, I use twitter to connect with the Diabetes Online Community and I use Facebook to be a part of the group 'Type One Teens'.

There is so much potential for social media and I feel like people need to see that and not blame mobile phones, computers, tablets and social media themselves for cyber-bullying. It is those who use social media who we need to look out for and be educated on and try to avoid.

-Ellie
[Peace&Insulin]

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