So this online stuff is pretty messed up, huh?
Last night, ABC Family debuted its original movie Cyberbu//y and if you didn't see it, you probably should. And if you have kids, ya definitely should. Because it turns out that those Kardashian sex tapes and sad Live Journal fanfic forums aren't the Internet's biggest problems. Online bullying is.
Charting one teen's nightmarish run-in with cyber taunts from bitchy classmates and strangers alike (including a fake suitor created by a jealous pal), this unsettling, at times heartbreaking, flick was like the anti-Social Network. Instead of showing how fun sites like Facebook or Twitter can be, we got to see how ferocious the web can get when left in the hands of haters who hide behind the perceived anonymity of their abusive online activity. From lie-filled wall posts and cruel picture comments to homemade viral videos and nasty tweets, it's brutal out there. And based on the rise of bully-related teen suicides in the last few years, it can also be fatal.
Thankfully, amid all the drama — wonderfully handled by Emily Osment as the cyber-pariah and Kelly Rowan as her powerless mother — there was also a major download of info for kids (and under-grown adults) dealing with these keyboard terrorists. Apparently, bullies keep going because they don't think their victims will do anything about it, so if you've ever encountered an online assault, here's a few tips for beating the bullies at their own game.
—Tell your parents and teachers.
—Print out all abusive posts for proof.
—Use that "block" button with abandon, people!
—Contact the bully's Internet provider and let them know what's up. You can shut it down by having their service shut down!
Did you watch last night? If so, what did you learn from Cyberbully? Other than the fact that Emily Osment needs her own show, pronto?
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