Cyberbullying, the act of using the Internet and electronic communication to invade someone’s privacy, exposing private information about the person or mentally harming him or her, comes in a variety of levels and harm. Some can seem harmless but have the potential to do a lot more. Other acts of cyberbullying can cause so much harm, it drives a person to want to escape, even if through suicide. Here are a few stories of electronic harm done to others, all through the Internet. Learn about the real-life Cyberbullying Stories!
Cyberbullying Stories: Ashley’s New Website, Unknown to Her
Ashley lives in Littleton, Colorado and has been growing up like any normal western state teen, being influenced by her peers as much as she’s influenced by her parents’ guidance. However, she never expected how invasive the Internet could be without her knowing about it or even having a say in the matter. In Ashley’s case, the bullying that occurred may seem benign, but it had the potential to be far more.
Unknown to Ashley at the time, a classmate when she was 11 began taking photos of her. The images were then made part of a portfolio of information posted on the Internet with a fake social media page. The topic was Ashley and the website page was made to look as if Ashley posted everything herself. It was only through friends and third parties that Ashley became aware of the existence of the online information. The data was detailed as well; it included her school name, her home address, her family information, birthdays and more. Worse, all the data was set to be open to the public without any filtering or restriction. The creator of the page was confronted but denied the act. In the meantime, Ashley began to be ostracized by her friends at school. To break the freeze-out cycle Ashley had to enrol in a different middle school to regain a “clean slate.”
In Ashley’s case, the damage was limited and constrained to the loss of a few friends. However, it could have been far worse. Further, the damage was caused by another child who simply had the time and access to post whatever was desired on the Internet for anyone to read.
Cyberbullying Stories: The Loss of Audrie
Audrie lived to the young age of 15 years before she committed suicide due to the cyberbullying she suffered at the hands of three teens she knew. The attack involved photographs of her posted on the Internet by the boys. The photos also involved Audrie’s rape.
The case happened in September 2012, when Audrie found herself in a situation of underage drinking. During the drinking she fell unconscious which is when the trouble began. During her passing out, Audrie was then raped by the teens she was with. All the teens knew each other, which was the more shocking matter; they all attended Saratoga High School. However, the teens involved then took photos of Audrie during the attack and posted them on the Internet. For eight days after the event, Audrie lived in terror, shame and fear until she finally decided suicide was the way to escape the damage and harm being forced on her mentally. Her parents had no idea what had happened until Audrie was already dead.
Now, after the 15-year-old’s death, the teens involved are under arrest and being charged with causing her death, but it won’t bring Audrie back to her family. The damage is done.
Cyberbullying Stories: Catherine’s Real Life Facebook Attack
In some cases, cyberbullying is generated by the virtual presence. In the case of Catherine, she thought anything she said on the Internet was harmless. However, she one day found that while talking on Facebook with a friend about another acquaintance she was being targeted by a teen who took the side of the acquaintance and clearly had an aggressive view toward Catherine. She thought nothing of the matter afterwards, thinking the teen was mistaken or just off that day.
However, a few weeks later at a party, Catherine was outright physically attacked by the same individual. She left the party with a bleeding cut above her eye, but when Catherine went to the hospital at her mother’s urging, it was found that she had facial bone fractures instead. In Catherine’s case, the cyberbullying went the opposite direction, manifesting from a virtual platform into a real-life physical attack.
According to this website dedicated to real life bullying stories, bullying stories and cyberbullying stories are never ending, and are portraying lives affected by cyberbullying every single day. For example “Jodi Plumb was distraught when she found out there was a website containing terrible comments about her. It was talking about her weight and they estimated the time of her death. Jodi’s mom went straight to the school board and asked for harsher action taken against the bullies. Jodi had been attacked twice in school. As well as people taking pictures of her for the website. Her mother was very upset.”
This is just one example of real life bullying stories that break homes and spirits every day everywhere around the world. Encouraging children to read and share these real-life bullying stories might help as a wake-up call for them to instil more kindness in their hearts towards others.
The above real-life bullying stories and cyberbullying stories represent a dark side of life that people have gone through, suffered and been hurt. Prevention is possible, but it takes a far greater effort to ensure teens’ and children’s safety than just telling kids to stand up for themselves. Parents, schools and communities need to actively and repeatedly reinforce that cyberbullying and virtual attacks are unacceptable, period.