A day with a cyber bullies victim

November 27, 2012

As the year 2012 draws to a close, I will be sharing some of the best and worst cases I’ve come across involving ups and downs of technology. Statistics show that Internet traffic will quadruple in the next two years, driven by the high sales in smartphones and tablet computers. In life, there will always be a dark and dangerous downside of anything whether its marriage, phone, email or even religion. On 2nd January 2012, I met a victim of what I can call dark side of Internet, a 14 years old boy who endured more than nine months of cyber bullying and didn’t even know any of his tormentors.The boy who is the first born in a family of three, showed me a heart-wrenching video on his phone that was sent to him by a stranger with his birth details and worse of all mocking his late father.He narrated to me how harrowing the ordeal of bullying and intimidation. In the virtual world there is no escape to bullying especially for the under age who have very little knowledge how dangerous the cyber world is and although the boy changed his profile last name on Facebook, he could not escape his online tormentors who seem to know him very well. His experience, while tragic, is not unique as that was the fourth genuine case I have come across and two after his. The boy is one in a long line of teenagers who have been driven to despair and self-harm after being the target by groups and individuals haters.Most of the cyber bullies have a tendency of hiding behind the anonymity that the Internet provides as they psychologically torture others.

I asked the boy why he did not inform his mother from the onset, he informed the slow reaction was as result of ban imposed by his mother on Internet use. At that point it was clear he did not have the blessings of his mother and was using the Internet illegally. When I asked the mother if she was aware of what his son was going through, the 38 years old lady was baffled by the online activities of his son and couldn’t comprehend how deep the problem.She revealed to me how Internet cafes around her neighborhood are full of teenagers playing computer games, almost on a daily basis. The boy suffered bullying immensely when he was immersed in chat rooms and when he updated his status on Facebook where he received messages containing insults about sexual orientation and his dark skin. The bile messengers went ahead and made disgusting remarks on the boy’s social status as son of the bitch since he did not have a father who passed away three and half years ago and his physical appearances that bullies described a gal bodied. Cyber bullying is illegal in almost all countries although the practice will continue unabated unless decisive action is taken against the cyber bullies. I also think that the victims need to open up to their parents or trustees because keeping quiet does not help at all. Ignoring cyber bullying will no doubt pave way for new waves of tragedies involving Internet users.

Contador Harrison