Facebook creates haven for bullies

Facebook has completely revolutionized the way people connect with each other. Facebook can be a tool but, like most technological advances of our era, it is a double-edged sword.

I learned about Amanda Todd after it became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. I looked through the Facebook page created in her memory, only to be more disgusted by her classmates posting rude comments on the page such as, “I’m so happy she’s dead now.”

Perhaps what shocked me the most was a video Amanda uploaded to YouTube on September 7, telling her story through a series of flash cards.

To know that other people can be so ignorant to push their peers to this point is even worse.

While society is well aware of bullying and its multiple forms, including cyberbullying — which social networks only facilitate — it seems that few are actually helping this stop.

There are laws in place, there are organizations that do everything in their power to stop bullying and bring awareness toward the issue. But as long as people continue to breed hate in their hearts and attack others for being who they are or any other reason not involving them at all, we might as well be walking in circles.

The issue of suicide is not one that will stop with laws and decrees. The issue of suicide will stop when people stop attacking each other for every single thing they do.

I find it so disappointing that, after Amanda attempted suicide by drinking bleach, people kept attacking her.

They wrote on her wall, “Try a different brand.” “She deserved it.” “I hope she’s dead.” They posted pictures of bottles of bleach on Facebook and tagged her in them.

The fact that a group of ignorant teenagers desperate for some sort of validation can resort to such vile, disgusting actions such as making a girl’s life hell on Earth should be a warning sign that something needs to be done.

The fact that every day, people are committing suicide or even thinking about it should be a red flag for society to stop this behavior. I find it hard to believe that these kids were not aware of what they were doing.

I’m sorry, but as much as your heart throbs to be the most popular person at your school, harassing people will never be justifiable, let alone correct. Amanda Todd wasn’t the only one. The cases are countless — some of which receive more media attention than others, which is shameful, but they happen nonetheless.

Yet some people fail to recognize the fact that abuse isn’t exclusively physical. Words hurt. And sometimes, they can hurt more than any punch or kick.

Everything you say can have an effect on someone else’s life.

We close our eyes to the issue, when, in reality, we should be educating others and educating ourselves, because the change starts with every single one of us doing something about it.

Before you go on any social network attacking others, insulting people and posting harmful comments or pictures, think about how they will react to it.

Think about how you would feel if the tables were turned. Something as simple as being aware of this is already a huge step toward stopping the epidemic of bullying our generation lives with.