/Reading Between the Lines

Reading Between the Lines

Student looks up the definition of the word cyber bully.
Student looks up the definition of the word cyber bully.

By Aubree Clark

Instagram Gone Too Far

Since Instagram was first created, it has grown to be a popular site to post pictures. However when freshman, Mikayla Olsen posted a picture of her brother and his boyfriend on her Instagram thing started going awry.

“It was over the summer I posted a picture of my brother and his boyfriend, it was mainly one guy who kept commenting on my photo,” Olsen said, “He kept saying how people shouldn’t deserve that right, that it’s wrong in the Bible to be gay, and that I shouldn’t be posting this stuff. Just cussing me out.”

These comments went on for about three days until Olsen’s brother’s boyfriend got involved. “My brother’s boyfriend just freaked out and told the guy he had to stop, and he did,” Olsen said.

After the comments were done it did not happen again, but it really upset Olsen. “It hurt me knowing people don’t appreciate others, since it was my brother I was very upset. But after it happened I just forgot about it, I know people just judge,” Olsen said.

Cyber bullying occurs in almost all media sites and there is nothing people can do to stop it fully. “If people find themselves in my position I would just say that you need to tell people it’s happening, try to resolve it, and try not to let it affect you that much,” Olsen said.

Twitter Fights

Ever since Twitter was first created, it has never stopped being the most used media site among teens. Even more famous than Twitter itself are the “Twitter Fights” that occur daily between tweeters.

Sophomore Alex Martin doesn’t mind sharing her opinions,  but her opinions were not very appreciated on Twitter. “Last year I put an opinion on a movie I saw, and many people did not like that. I’m not sure why they chose me, but I was their target,” Martin said.

Martin did not even personally know the people who replied to her tweet. “They were just following me [on Twitter], there was one girl and two guys. They asked me about why I had that opinion, and they said that my opinion was really stupid. The main thing they said was to go kill myself. It was just all awful things,” Martin said.

These replies kept going for about a month. “They would just keep coming back replying to my tweets about my other opinions on the world and stuff,” Martin said, “I was so angry and confused, I didn’t know why they were doing it.”

Martin believes that in order to prevent cyber bullying from occurring again, it is just best to keep your own opinions to yourself and not others. If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it all.

Hiding Through Facebook

Hiding in Facebook messages, bullies targeted Junior Megan Cole when she attended middle school in Elizabeth.

“I was friends with all the guys. Since I was the only girl in my family, I had the mentality to be friends with the guys. Because of this I was called a whore, a slut, and told I was sleeping around; the girls were really just jealous,” Cole said.

These messages occurred all through middle school, and the rumors got worse. “They were horrible rumors, saying I was pregnant, and I was cheating on the boyfriend I had,” Cole said.

“Even teachers asked me if the rumors were true. It was all just gossip; it wasn’t fair. So I did act out; it really bothered me. I would go to the office in tears. I was pretty much in tears all day.”

Cole’s cyber bullying experience ended when she moved to Legend.

“I was supposed to go to Elizabeth, but I transferred here. Most of the girls went to Elizabeth, but some of them transferred to Legend and I just ignore them,” Cole said.

Cole learned from her exposure to ignore, not engage, her cyber bullies.

Anonymous Ask.fm

Ask. FM is probably the most notorious media site to jibe and cyber bully fellow peers without revealing an identity. Freshman Sarah Miner became an expert in cyber bullying through her own Ask.fm.

“It was last year in eighth grade. It all started when I finally got an Ask.fm of my own–but I had no idea it would turn bad,” Miner said. Since Ask. fm is anonymous, Miner did not know who was talking to her.

“There were quite a few though, they would all ask why I was so weird. They told me that I shouldn’t be here [alive]. They would also ask me why I did some of the things I do and why I act the way I do,” said Miner.

These questions kept going for about a week until Miner’s mom made her get rid of it. “It really took me aback, I did not know there was that many people that didn’t like me,” said Miner.

On Ask.fm, people know it is easier to target kids because they know their identity won’t be discovered. “I have seen a ton of cyber bullying on Ask.fm mainly,” Miner said.

“I believe if people gained more self-confidence in themselves, they would stop bullying,” Miner said.

Miner’s bullies on Ask. fm stopped asking jeering questions once her friends stood up for her, and she also stood up for herself.