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Brittany West, Perspectives Editor

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We live in a culture based on social media which has led to a new form of bullying-Cyber bullying. It use to end when we left school and now it follows us everywhere we go. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology that affects about 1 in 4 teenagers. Bullying is an aggressive behavior that is repeated over time and can take many forms, such as teasing, taunting, name-calling, or sexual remarks. It can also include intimidation using gestures, spreading rumors, or social exclusion according to The Megan Meir foundation.

Megan Meir was a 13-year old who hanged herself 13 weeks before her birthday due to cyber bullying.

One in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.

About 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year, this is about an average of one person every 16 minutes. It is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds in the U.S.

Cyberbullying seems to be an inevitable force, virtually impossible to avoid.

The best way to stop cyberbullying is to not be a bully yourself. Think about what you say and how it will affect the people around you. Remember, we are all going through something, and a couple words can make or break a person.

If you are getting bullied online or in-person the best response is no response. People bully to feel superior, and their superiority is gone when they have no power over you. Don’t retaliate. If you do you are perceived as no better than the bully themselves.

Retaliating and standing up for yourself are different. Let the bully know that they have no power over you and that their words don’t affect you.

Don’t be a bystander either. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them. Report the picture or the comment and make sure the person is okay. We will all face a bully at least once in our lives, and it is a lot easier to handle when we have a friend by our side.

Don’t forget that if you are being bullied it has nothing to do with you or who you are and everything to do with the bully and their insecurities. Don’t put yourself down because someone else is projecting their negative feelings on you. Everyone is amazing and unique in their own ways.

Speak up. If you don’t, they might bully someone else. Don’t be afraid to tell the people around you what is going on. Everyone will face a bully in their life time, you are not alone.

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Think Before You Type