On Wednesday Amanda Todd from Coquitlam BC committed suicide after being bullied. (Read more about this story in the Huffington Post)
Amanda posted a video of her plight on Youtube 5 weeks ago – the best way available to her to cry out. Unfortunately help came too late for her.
Because the bullying against Amanda happened on-line, now many are quick to blame to blame the tools.
Amanda Todd's story is heartbreaking. We need to talk to our children about the risks of facebook and sharing info online #RIPAmanda
— JJisJeni (@JJisJeni) October 12, 2012
As harsh as it sounds – teenagers killed themselves before email and Facebook. People were and are bullied and beaten by adults and peers “in real life”. What we need to remember is that Social Media is “real life” . Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumbler and all the other tools are just another place this bullying is taking place.
I agree with Premier Clark in the video above. Bullying has to stop! In my opinion it has to stop by us adults setting an example. If you want to recognize it you can see bullying all around you every day. In politics, journalism, the workplace, towards seniors, domestic partners…. the list goes on.
We have to start teaching our children early that bullying another person is not right. We have to start with ourselves though! Examining our own behaviour and speaking out against bullying in all parts of our lives is the best weapon against bullying and discrimination.
The Social Media Revolution is giving us the tools to be more effective in this fight. The average Canadian has 190 Facebook friends – we have a louder voice now!
How are we going to use it?
My own history demands that I speak out but everyone has reason to do so. My German Grandparents generation killed 6 million people because of their ethnic background, sexual orientation or political views. This was only possible because not enough people spoke out against the Nazis.
We can start with calling our Facebook friends out on bullying! I regularly do this when I see people post derogatory remarks on Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media is a great tool to educate and rally behind a movement to stop bullying once and for all. I hope Amanda’s death will result in more people standing up against bullying on Social Media and the other real life!
I would love to hear your ideas on how we can use our Social Media voices to stop bullying – please leave them in the comments or on my Facebook wall.
In the discussions about this post I received a lot of great feedback – one of the reactions made me look into Mobiflock – a tool that offers flexible security features for mobile devices: http://tweet4ok.com/how-mobiflock-can-help-protect-our-children/