Ciara Pugsley, 15 years old. Erin Gallagher, 13 years old. Jessica Laney, 16 years old. These are just 3 people out of the 4,400 deaths caused by suicide every year. For every suicide there are multiple attempts. For every attempt there are even more who have considered it.
These three girls took their lives prematurely because they were victims of being bullied online, more popularly known as "cyber bullying". People may think that because it's said online or that it's just words that it won't hurt. What's one insult here and there? Nothing much, right? Wrong. People online don't know what that person they are bullying has been through before or how many times they have been called that. Getting away with little insults here and there lead people to think it's okay, that it's just something small that they can get away with.
All of these girls share something in common, not only did they all commit suicide, but they were all in their teens and victims of cyber bullying on the same website.
The first girl, Ciara Pugsley, was only 15 years old when she committed suicide on Sept. 29, 2012. She had received many anonymous "questions" calling her names, making fun of how she looked, and how she acted. This went on for months before her last question was answered. The question asked was "Whats been up with u," her answer was "U'll see soon!" What a terrible thing to have happen. For those to be your last words because of someone who think's they are invincible merely because they are not being punished for what they are doing, and then getting their friends to join in because it's "funny."
The second girl, Erin gallagher, was only 13 years old when she had taken her own life on October 27th, 2012. Erin had been being bullied on the same question website. Knowing about Ciara Pugsley and that she had committed suicide just a month before she decided to warn her bullies. She said ?U prob think it was funny when [I] f______ put a rope round my neck cause of yous, yous are that sad!" Yet the bullies continued to call her fat and make fun of how she looked.
The third and last girl I'm going to write about is Jessica Lanely. The oldest of the three at 16 years old took her life on December 11, 2012. The main thing people were saying to her was that she was fat. One of her last questions answered was, "you have pretty eyes but your fat." She replied with "awesome. but i'm not fat." After she had killed herself a petition was made to take down the website. Within days the petition had reached over 3,000 signatures. Despite the amount of signatures the petition had gotten, the website remains live and with an anonymous option.
As you can see, cyber bullying can have a big effect on someone's life. One word whether it be "fat," "ugly," or even just "stupid" can push someone over the edge and cause them to take their own life. This can happen on any website by anyone at any age. Kids may think their parents are "over protective," and this is why. If I had a child I would be protective too knowing that this was happening. Until people truly recognize what is going on online and make more of an effort to change it, this will continue.
Thanks for reading. I hope I have changed some of your views on how you see online chatting, and I hope that you will become more aware of what you are saying. You never know who you could push over the line with that one word.
Author's Note: Sources: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/a-ninth-teenager-since-last-september-has-committed-suicide