Cyberbullying: The Dark Side of Social Media


Bully Advance Screening Hosted by Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley

Like many parts of our lives, there are both good and bad aspects to social media.  Cyberbullying is definitely one of the bad aspects of social media.  Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? If you didn’t, you’re not alone – most people didn’t know it either.

As bad a bullying is in any form, I’m focusing solely on cyberbullying, for obvious reasons.  I myself was bullied a bit when I was a kid, mostly because I was pretty short until a growth spurt hit me in-between 8th and 9th grades. 

Did you know that over 160,000 kids stay home from school each day to avoid being bullied?

Cyberbullying takes place in the virtual world.  A victim may not even know the identity of who is doing it to them.  After all, how hard is it to create a new profile on a social media site?  Too often, kids being cyberbullied feel that suicide is their only option when it happens to them.

As I write this, the story of two teenagers in Florida who cyberbullied Rebecca Sedwick to the point of suicide is in the news.  I wish that this was an isolated case, but it’s far from it.  Google the cases of Amanda Todd and Hope Witsell to learn about two other high profile cases that made it into the news. 

In the case of young Rebecca, one of the two teens who was arrested boasted about her behavior, even after the teenager jumped to her death, “Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don’t give a …”

We can do better.  We must do better!

For more information on cyberbullying, visit cyberbullying.us.

Joe Yeager is a marketing analyst and social media administrator for a leading B2B manufacturer in the professional dental market. He is also a freelance writer and adjunct faculty member. Please follow him at @JosephMYeager.