Monday, 29 September 2008
by Mama Pig
I am sure everyone heard about the young girl that committed suicide about a year ago after the "boy" she was chatting with online dumped her. Tragically, there was no boy, it was the mother of another young girl. It was at that time the term "cyber bully" became a mainstream word.
Having teenagers, I have witnessed the cyber bullying process first hand. I find it amazing at times that these innocent looking girls can say such vile things to one another when they are protected by a screen. Piglet2's friends have had their myspace accounts hacked into as well as having them deleted completely. On more than one occasion Piglet2 has had hers deleted by an angry friend. It isn't just the computer these days, however.
Text messaging is another way to be mean without having to face your victim. Just last year Piglet2 was home from school sick one day. On our way home from the doctor she received about twenty messages from her "best friends" calling her the most vile names I have ever heard. It didn't stop until I called the school and informed them of the messages being sent during school hours. That all started over some boy that Piglet2 and another girl liked. Now do not get me wrong, I am sure that Piglet2 gives as well as she receives when I am not present, but I make it a point to monitor her myspace as well as perusing her text messages from time to time.
I can remember growing up having verbal fights with my friends, but never to the extent that it happens today. Just the other day another of Piglet2's friends had her myspace hacked and pornographic pictures were posted there. The young girls mother happened to check the myspace and was quite upset. This left the young girl having to explain what had happened and the other girl's mother being called. I can never remember my mother having to get involved with a dispute between a friend and myself. Today it seems to be a necessity.
I have touched mainly on the girls simply because Piglet3 does not have a myspace. He would rather surf the web than chat, but I am sure this is not a gender specific phenomenon.
Have any of your children ever been involved in a "cyber bully" situation? How would you handle it if you found out that your child was the victim of cyber bullying, whether it was on the Internet or via text messaging? Would you get involved, or would you let your child work things out?