This morning upon opening instagram my feed was cover in pictures of people with a black cross across their lips. At first i was like “what the hell” and then upon reading more and more i came to understand that this was about standing up against cyber bullying. Something i personally feel is an act of cowardliness and needs to be stopped.

Bullying is defined as “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.” I think that this definition needs to be looked at again and changed. Bullying no longer just realise on the strength of someone but rather the state of the victim.

These days anyone can be a victim on bullying and the sad thing is this isn’t something that only happens in school. I dont think people have come to understand that bullying is something that never stops. People always find something to make one feel bad about, their looks, their socio economic status, their intellectual ability, their family it is a never ending list and it honestly sickens me.

Growing up i was lucky to not know much about cyber bullying until i reached about grade 7, meaning i was 13. I remember being bullying in school a lot because my parents were divorced, my mom had left the country and my step mom was so much thinner than me. The list went on and on. I found going to school really hard so i spent a lot of time missing school because i was scared of the learners in my grade. I then missed so much school that my grade 2 teacher called me a retard. So then they had something else to pick on me for now. What i am getting at is no matter how cute and young a person is they can be so cruel.

I personally feel that as south african we need to establish a better support system for those who are being bullied. I also think that the people doing the bullying need as much help. Over the last three years of studying to work with children i have learnt a lot about the bully as a person and i think the world needs to help them to. This does not mean that they should get away with what they are doing.

Cyber bullying is something very real and many people do it because it is so easy. One can hide behind a screen and bring someone down without having to leave the comfort of their homes. I think that this i disgusting. I was cyber bullied and at 21 i still am, it isn’t something easy to live with and people don’t realise the impact they have on you.

I was horrified to learn about how my 17 year old cousin was being bullied. Someone created a fake whatsapp account pretending to be him and messaged all his friends sending child porn and things like that. This destroyed my cousins friendships and his own confidence. What was even more shocking was the fact that someone who was doing this was 25 years old. Why would a 25 year old think it is okay to ruin the life of a 17 year old. It makes me so sick.

I stand against any form of bullying and i am not afraid to speak out about it. If you are being bullied please know that you are not alone and there are people who want to help you. Also it is nothing to be ashamed of.


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