Recently, I had the pleasure of watching a great film on cyberbullying. It was a straight to TV movie, but I was able to see it on Netflix.
Cyberbully starts Emily Osment (Haley Joel's sister) as a seventeen-year-old girl. A regular girl. Not insanely popular, but happy nonetheless. For her seventeenth birthday, she receives a laptop from her mother.
Of course the first thing she does is create profiles on social media networks and adds everyone from her school. But this is where the problem begins.
Osment eventually strikes a negative chord with some of the more popular girls in school (the method is a spoiler, so I won't give it away). These girls begin posting all over her wall, profile, and messaging her. They call her names and blast her any way they can.
Osment tells her mother and the computer is taken away for a week. But when she returns to school, she is ridiculed and bullied in person. One of her friends even goes so far as to believe the rumors and ditch her. Quickly followed by the second friend.
Now friendless, Osment has the computer returned only to find the bullying has escalated. Videos posted making fun of her run rampant on YouTube. At one point, she swallows a whole bottle of prescription medication, but is quickly saved.
Eventually the mother decides to speak to the bully girl's father, but he happens to be a lawyer who believes his kid can do no wrong. The film eventually ends on a high note, but many victims of bullying aren't so lucky.
Now, it's easy to say what we would have done in that situation. It's simple to pretend we could walk away and not let it affect us. But the truth is, when you're bullied, it hurts. You can pity the bully, but you still wonder what you did to make them hate you so much.
I have been bullied all my life. When I was in school, it was because I wore glasses and was shy. When I was in college, it was because I was quiet and did my work. When I was an adult, my ex husband bullied me because he saw me as weak and young. And now, very sad people are bullying me online because I write about horror movies for a website, and they don't like my taste.
If you're like me and tired of people acting like silly middle school children online, please help me in signing this petition. I don't know if it will help, but we can't do nothing.
And furthermore, if you find you're being bullied online, just walk away. Block the person, shut off the computer and take a breather. You don't know that person and they are not worth your time. They are sad and pitiful and have nothing better to do than ridicule you for the things you like. And it only makes them look bad. They feed off your misery, so the simple solution is not to give it to them. Seriously. F*ck them.
Follow Amy on personal blog at http://www.amiurban.wordpress.com.