TY student in Colaiste Iosagain, Portarlington Laura Pearson reports on a project by her class which gives a student insight into the prevalence of Cyber Bullying
The project has convinced many Transition Year students in Coláiste Íosagáin, Portarlington that cyber bullying a big problem. “Cyber bullying is horrible. I’ve seen it everywhere- Facebook, Twitter, Ask.fm and I’ve seen how it leaves its victims.
“The bullies should be ashamed of themselves, it’s cowardly and it’s wrong!” said James Watson, a Transition Year student who was involved in surveying the First Year students.
“In today’s society it has become the latest trend among teenagers and it’s way more evident than a few years ago.” observed Leah Sherlock, a TY student.
After looking up statistics published by the Anti-Bullying Centre in Trinity College Dublin which stated that one in four girls and one in six boys are affected by cyber bullying in Ireland, Leah gave her opinion,
“I think it’s affecting teenage girls more than boys as some girls tend not to be able to say things in person but can say them from behind the safety of their screen.”
Many of the students looked up examples of cyber bullying on social networking sites such as Facebook and Ask.fm to use in their presentations.
“Ask,fm is one of the worst social networking sites a young vunerable teenager can go on. Facebook and Ask.fm are not the way for young teens to communicate,” said Meg Tinkler after reading some of the examples she found on Ask.fm.
“Part of the project was to help the other students understand that cyber bullying is wrong and it embarrasses its victims.” said another Transition Year.
The students discussed the characteristics a bullying victim might have and most of them concluded that the victims would have quite low self-esteem and perhaps a lack of confidence.
“If you are a teen with already low self-esteem, critism can lower it further. This can lead to depression which may lead to more permanent solutions.”
With many teenagers affected by cyber bullying, the TYs encouraged bullying victims to seek help to avoid the porblems caused from causing more serious damage.
“Our main message was to tell the other students that suicide and self-harm are permanent solutions to a temporary problem and to encourage them to seek help instead of taking drastic measures,” said one TY student,.