Cyber bullying is harassment that occurs through the use of electronic technology or online. For clarity this includes cell phones, computers, tablets and communication tools such as social media sites, chat forums and websites. You are being cyber bullied if you are receiving mean texts, harassing emails or someone is posting rumors, defaming videos or fake profiles and attaching them to your name.
Taylor Hillridge (Emily Osment) is super excited she receives her very own computer on the occasion of her 17th birthday. Her parents also entrusts her with unmonitored internet access.
Taylor’s best friend encourages her to join a popular social site Cliquesters (similar to Facebook) so that she can get in on the latest gossip. Taylor soon finds herself the one at the center of the gossip and nasty comments.
Eventually, the situation worsens with even an “admirer” chiming in to add some vicious and untrue lies about Taylor. The barrage of bullying proves almost too much for Taylor and she is pushed to the limit.
The great thing about this situation is that Taylor’s mom intervenes in time to make a difference. She and a group of other victims help Taylor to overcome the trauma of the emotional attacks and she is able to use the experience to help protect and inform other teens.
This cyber bullying movie theme brings the issue of bullying through electronic means out into the open. If you are the parent of a child being cyber bullied or if you are being bullied you should know that this movie takes a very realistic approach to this issue from the point of view of the teen aged victim.
More specifically the emotional content addresses homophobia and suicide so you should be prepared to discuss these topics if you have your teen watch the film.
Parents should realize before watching that the movie has some language and lots of talk about sex, sexuality and the like.
This movie opens the door to a discussion about online safety for you and your family. This can be a great opportunity for your teen to gain clarification about the family’s rules about online use. This will include a discussion of which sites your teen is allowed to visit and what, if any, personal information your teen is allowed to share.
You can also explore and discuss how technology has improved the quality of all of our lives.
Our teens probably see this kind of bullying online. If they haven’t realized what it is they will have a better understanding of the behavior after watching this cyber bullying movie.
Those who are cyber bullied tend to pick suffer repercussions such as:
The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that nearly 16% of 9th-12th graders have experienced some form of electronic bullying. While the research is growing and teachers, parents and the government is understanding more everyday, there is still so much to figure out because of the high frequency of changes in kid’s technology use.