In Cyber Bullying
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Make the Choice Today: Stand up Against Cyber Bullying


Many of us have seen cyber bullying happen, or even experienced it ourselves. It happens all over social media, with Facebook being the most common social site where cyber bullying occurs. You might have seen your female friends get ridiculed and shamed because of the way they looked, or just because bullies wanted to exclude them from their social group.

 

Alarmingly, researchers have found a consistent link between cyberbullying and depression,[1] an alarming illness that sees one experiencing lasting feelings of sadness, and even affects ones’ sleep, appetite, and how one thinks about oneself, and how one things about things.[2] Depression could eventually lead to one committing self-harm or even suicide. For example, in 2013, a series of suicides was linked to abuse that occurred on the social network Ask.fm, a website where users pose questions anonymously to other users.  

 

Making matters worse, your friends and peers typically suffer from cyber bullying in silence. This might be because reporting harassment might put him or her in a position of having to highlight his or her differences, or due to a fear of losing their access to the internet if they tell their parents.

 

Given the negative effects of cyber bullying, we should make the conscious decision today of deciding whether we will be an “upstander”, or a bystander. Stand up against cyber bullying and do what’s right for the victim! The stakes are so high; for our friends, we cannot be passive; rather we should be proactive when it comes to the welfare of our friends.

 

[1] Stephanie Pappas, Social Media Cyber Bullying Linked to Teen Depression, Scientific American, June 23, 2015, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-media-cyber-bullying-linked-to-teen-depression/

[2] Institute of Mental Health, Depression  https://www.imh.com.sg/clinical/page.aspx?id=253


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