Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:02:17 PM
I reside in a small, conservative community of only three thousand people, where we all mostly have the same beliefs. Since the town is so tiny, most everybody knows and accepts all their neighbors, peers, and co-workers. Because of this, I never really have had a problem with bullying, nor have I necessarily observed it happening around me. I was surprised when a movie opened my eyes to how sheltered people become living in such a small town.
One fateful day, I was browsing through my instant Netflix account, and came across a made-for-TV movie called "Cyberbully." I recalled one of my friends mentioning that she really wanted to see this movie in the past, so I clicked play in anticipation. Although the acting, script, and story line weren't quite up to par with most wide-release films, I was absolutely blown away by the message.
The story is about a quiet, meek girl who, on her seventeenth birthday, receives her own laptop. Consequently, she signs up for a popular social networking site. Thinking he was simply playing a prank, her brother then proceeds to hack into her account and post inappropriate things; it turns out to be so much more than a prank, as this starts a downward spiral for her life. Mean, spiteful girls at school start harassing and making up ridiculous rumors about her, both in school and online. Because of this, her crush and all her friends reject and turn away from her. The bullying eventually increases so immensely that she turns to suicide, although she doesn't succeed in killing herself. Even after her suicide attempt, the "bullies" still continue to make fun of her, saying that only "freaks" try to kill themselves.
I was sitting in my recliner wrapped up in a blanket, and I could not believe my eyes. Does this kind of stuff actually happen in real life? I had heard of kids getting bullied before, but I honestly never imagined that teenagers would ever be so cruel as to push a fellow peer so far into thinking there was no way out. Watching that movie, I resolved right then and there that I would never bully anyone; I would try more diligently to be kind to everyone. I'm not necessarily a mean person or a bully, but I'm definitely not one to reach out to others. The message in this movie really inspired me to take a step back and evaluate myself and my actions; am I being the best person I can be?