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Online harassment is a growing problem, especially for teens
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THERE IS a saying
We somehow believe that we are hidden, invisible--maybe even safe--with our words and our thoughts. Even at this moment, as I type quietly in the solitude
This illusion of privacy can be a very dangerous thing--especially for youths.
Cyberbullying has taken center stage this week after several recent suicides, including that of 18-year old Tyler Clementi, who was secretly taped in a private interaction with another boy and, upon finding that the video was posted online, committed suicide.
Cyberbullying has been defined as any type of bullying or harassment online. It can include mean comments, sexual harassment, spreading rumors, threatening or aggressive language, even teasing or lying. It can occur in any mode of Internet interaction and even on cell phones.
It is a growing problem. In 2005, the number of youths ages 10
I think two normal developmental issues put our teens at great risk for suffering the worst effects of cyberbulling:
First, for a teenager, the opinion of peers is of utmost concern.
Second, teens haven't developed the ability to see very far beyond the present.
Put those two together, and our most useful tool
As a parent, I know how easy it is to have your head
Here are a few websites with more information about thwarting bullying:
In addition, some Fredericksburg-area residents are helping to launch an anti-bullying clothing line, with the goal of putting a no-bullying message "front and center." You can view their T-shirts and mission at antibullegear .com.
Dr. Delise Dickard a licensed professional counselor, is the director of Riverside Counseling in Fredericksburg.