For the people who think cyberbullying is trivial or unreal or harmless or totally incapable of being traumatic – have a little collection of case studies.
Megan Meier, a 13-year-old Missouri native, started messaging a boy she had never met via MySpace. The comments posted by someone using the account name of “Josh Evans” began friendly but eventually turned aggressive and derogatory. These comments were public and other classmates could read and comment on them. As a result of the cyberbullying on MySpace, Megan hanged herself in her closet. The user “Josh Evans” was later found to have been created by a parent of [one of] Meier’s classmates.
Or how about this one?
Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old new girl from Ireland, was bullied upon her arrival at the Massachusetts high school. She was tormented by a group of students the newspapers later dubbed the “Mean Girls.” Bullying at school followed her home via social networks including Facebook, Formspring and Twitter. She was also sent threatening text messages and called names such as “Irish slut” and “whore.” After an especially intense day of bullying, Prince hanged herself in a stairwell at her home.
Jessica Logan was an 18-year-old high school senior who sent nude photos of herself to her boyfriend. After the couple broke up, the boyfriend sent the photos to hundreds of other teenagers. The photo sharing led to name calling and taunts at school, where she was called “slut,” “porn queen” and “whore.” The taunting continued via Facebook, MySpace and through text messages. After attending a funeral for a boy who had committed suicide, Jessica came home and hanged herself in her room.
Bad things are bad things.