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.

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.

https://twitter.com/sindyloohoo/status/256911550063980544

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.

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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/

Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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9 Comments

  1. Thanks for this article! I wish there was an app that would alert me to key words on my children’s Facebook etc. I don’t need to spy on them – I know they are good kids 🙂 But I would like to be alerted to certain words that appear in their timeline – ugly, stupid, fat, etc. Then I could easily check to make sure they weren’t being bullied on line. Hope someone develops a program like that!

    1. I really like that idea and will try to find a developer for this tool. It’s important to teach our kids the value of privacy as well so we need something where we don’t require their passwords.

  2. Hi Frith! Great article! This is such a sad sad circumstance…it’s so sad, I can’t even watch the video..yet. It’s unfathomable how kids treat each other…I think it always starts with the parents at home. If the children are in an unhappy home, with fighting, disrespect to each other; kids are going to go to school, filled with anger & hatred and take it out on their peers. Growing up in that environment, tends to make you say stupid stuff and do stupid things…I’ve seen it, growing up. Thats why i can say its the parents. I remember teaching my kids from the time they were crawling and sitting with other babies their ages…teaching them to BE KIND & SHARE! its takes repetition to get it thru to kids, but they will eventually get it. Don’t treat kids how you were treated as a child. Teach children Compassion, Empathy & Integrity.

    1. Very true Sharon and thanks for stopping by!
      In my opinion it goes beyond the parent-child relationship. If we accept bullying by politicians, journalists and other public figures – how can we stop the pattern?

  3. “Examining our own behaviour and speaking out against bullying in all parts of our lives is the best weapon against bullying and discrimination.” Quote from above – not God!
    This i believe is key. We can procrastinate about how our culture is wrong or how our governments need to sort the problem out or spend money to sort the problem out. All possibly correct ideas but way beyond our individual responsibility. The real solution starts in taking responsibility personally. I have a very real recent example for which i am not proud. Twice, over Thanksgiving weekend i was in the company of who i thought were enlightened people. Two different groups of people. I heard the words, ‘window lickers and crayon crunchers’. These words disgust me. How dare anyone pick on people who may not have the capacity to defend themselves. I overhead the comments both times. I did not say anything at the time but my conscience has bothered me since.

  4. Great post, Audrey! It is time that parents got really involved in understanding social media and taking an active role in helping their kids navigate the channels. Bullying is a terrible activity that occurs online and parents should be able to help their kids identify when it’s happening and how to talk about it.

    Cheers for posting on this important issue!

    –Sean

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