BC Counsellor - Fall 2012 - (Page 8)

We’ve come a Long Way Baby. Have we – Really? I doubt Mark Twain was referring to cyber bullying when he said: “A lie can travel around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on.” Although today, cyber bullying confirms the accuracy of Twain’s statement. Like rock and roll, the World Wide Web is here to stay. Our planet revolves and advances online, enabling kids – everyone – to enjoy a wealth of choice. Before the Internet made “social media” available, we were accustomed to talking to each other. Now, we can tap our phones to tap our way into someone’s life. It’s much easier than tapping into someone else’s emotions – or our own for that matter. Facebook, MySpace, Firewalls, YouTube Twitter, Chat Rooms and Blogs make it happen. Less than a decade ago, most of us probably couldn’t have imagined this wired world, and for many, the technolog y leap is still new and mysterious territory. Today, children are born into the virtual world that offers both opportunities and risks. The Internet lets us promote ideas, access information and increase our knowledge immediately. Kids love making new friends and networking with others living oceans apart. For them, technology makes socializing fun and easy. But, not for everyone… Secrets, Lies and Internet Enter Cyber Bullying, a relatively new fact of life that gives bullies almost unlimited power to torment, harass and humiliate their targets via email, Internet, password and ID theft, chat rooms, cameras, instant messaging and cell phones 24/7. C yber bully ing t hrough prox y, a les ser known form of malicious bullying, occurs when bullies cause unsuspecting targets to do their dirty deeds. Malicious messages, defamatory words, compromising photographs and videos that inflict pain, damage 8 Bullying today often happens far away from school grounds. The hurt and humiliation inflicted on victims is instant and oftentimes far reaching thanks to the internet. r eput at ion s , deme a n, emba r r a s s and attack the target’s character and appearance. This bullying can quickly reach thousands and cause significant emotional distress, depression and cyberbullicide. Kids who feel there’s no relief from their extreme pain resort to cyberbullicide – suicide caused by cyber bullying – a tragic result of a fragile system. According to a 1998 Stats Can study, an average of 10 Canadians take their lives every day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth. Most kids know the importance of looking good and will do almost anything to fit in. Pursuing the perfect look is a high priority. Plastic surgery is big business. ABC news reported one girl’s story: Meghan, 15, tried breaking her nose against a brick wall. After enduring years of teasing, exaggerated picture s that circled the Inter net, and name-calling like “Pinnochio,” her mother agreed to plastic surgery. In Januar y, Good Morning America reported that almost 90,000 teenagers had cosmetic surgery in 2007. In 2008, a report noted that 43,000 children under 18 had “surgically altered their appearance.” In 2009, US teens purchased 12,000 injections of Botox. Since jealousy also makes pretty girls a target, shall we consider bullying an indication of a greater epidemic involving greater solutions? When Jason received a text during recess warning him to forget about getting on the bus, advising him to acquire a few new coping and relating BC Counsellor | Fall 2012 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com http://www.bcschoolcounsellor.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Fall 2012

President’s Message
The Fine Print
We’ve come a Long Way Baby.
Bullying in the Schoolyard: Actual and Virtual
School Counsellors and Bill 22:
Crossing Oceans to New Worlds: Teens in Transition
Index to Advertisers

BC Counsellor - Fall 2012