Teenager Speaks Out On Cyberbullying
My name is Jewel Edwards, I’m 17 years old and I am a witness as well as a victim to Cyber Bullying. Like most teenagers, I enjoy the internet. When I hop onto my electronics I emerge myself into the Cyber World. From multiplayer games, to simply texting, or engaging in regular social media activities.This takes up a large portion of my everyday life. Recently, as some of you know, I’ve been quite ill. Some results of my illness included me having multiple seizures, appetite loss, and various other things. What most people don’t know is what happens while on these sites, apps, & so fourth, but I do. Very recently, someone I was dating ended our relationship, and it took a turn for the worst. He started shaming my appearance, and making fun of the small tooth gap I have, which he knows I’m extremely sensitive about.
But this was merely a breeze compared to what came next. While him & I were together I had the first seizure of my life, and some of his friends did not believe that I was telling the truth. While in the hospital my mother took a video of my seizing to show my biological father who no longer lives with us. When I was stable, I took that video and sent it to my boyfriend because I trusted him. I wanted him to be able to tell his friends that I wasn’t lying. He promised not to show anyone the video and told me he had deleted it shortly after I sent it to him, and that was that. Later on we broke up, and he started blackmailing me.
Threatening to leak the video on a game we played and on other sites if I didn’t give him things he wanted. I brushed off his threats, and didn’t give into his demands. A couple days later, he sent me a link to Youtube. I clicked it, and there, displayed on Youtube (with my real name attached), was my seizure video. I watched in horror as he spread the link around on multiple social media sites. The views going up every few seconds. I was torn apart, hurt, confused, and angered.
~Here I would like to take a moment to bring to light the danger of the internet. Please take great thought into what things you send or show someone online. Don’t trust someone online too quickly, no matter how well you think you know them. Because once it’s in the hands of someone else, you can’t take it back. Some people can seem so harmless, yet will go to great lengths to hurt you, simply because you have a disagreement or whatever the situation may be. Just please be extremely careful who you trust. People you never expected, can turn on you so quickly.~
But then I saw it in a better light. This was a chance for me to take a stand, not only for myself, but for the hundreds upon thousands of people that are bullied and mute about it world wide. People often use the excuse(s), “Oh this is just a game”, “Don’t take it so seriously”, “It was only a joke”, “You’re too sensitive”. But it’s not just a game, there’s real people behind every screen, with feelings, and life trials that you don’t know about. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4400 deaths per year. Out of the 4400, 50% of them committed suicide because of being bullied. Words have power, they have meaning, and they can destroy someone’s confidence, dignity, self value, or even their life. So my message to anyone who’s ever been bullied, or treated poorly just because of the way you act, talk, look, or live YOUR life is;
Don’t let people label you. Your flaws, make you unique. Never let medical disabilities or issues, appearance, a scale number, your skin color, a school report card, or person, altar your perspective of who you are. YOU are perfect just the way you are. If you have a tooth gap, smile, because your smile is beautiful. If you have a medical problem or disability, embrace it, because that’s not something you can control. It only enhances your beauty. Never be ashamed of who you are. Love yourself, and don’t be your own bully. #BeatYourBully (Keep the hashtag going) I am 100% me, no labels, no expectations. Thank you for reading. I truly hope this helps at least one person. Please share.