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Cyberbullying: A Teen’s Perspective

Everyone has been picked on at least once in their life, but that doesn’t make it any easier when you become the target of a bully.  It used to be that kids would only pick on you at school, but that’s all changed now.  They can use any form of communication, including e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, mobile phones, pagers, or social networking sites like MySpace® or Facebook© to harass anyone they want.  It’s cruel and becoming more common by the minute.  Are you guilty of cyberbulling? 

This is a problem that is not going away.  According to isafe.org, 53% of teens admitted they had said hurtful things to someone online, while 7% said they did it “quite often”.  Statistics show that girls are the victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying more often than boys, and that instant messaging is the most common way that teens cyberbully. 

Cyberbullies can be relentless, sending countless threatening messages back to back.  But, people who are victims of cyberbullying often turn around and do it themselves to someone else.  It might be retaliation; it might be something you are doing for “fun”.  Any way you look at it, it’s wrong.  There is no way to “take back” something once you send it.  

Think it doesn’t mean anything?  Think again.  Click on the following link and listen as real teens share their stories about cyberbullying and how the devastating effect it can have. Learn More >

So, what’s the best thing to do if you encounter such messages or people who send them? Ignore them. If someone sends you messages or images that are indecent, lewd, or obscene with the intent to abuse, annoy, harass, or threaten you, REPORT it! Tell your Internet service provider (i.e. AOL, ATT etc) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at www.cybertipline.com

Visit the following website to learn more about how you can make a difference and stop cyberbullies:

http://tcs.cybertipline.com
http://www.stopcyberbullying.org
http://www.isafe.org/  
http://kids.getnetwise.org