Lucie's Cyberbullying Story
Lucie's story highlights the importance of thinking carefully about what you are going to post - once you post it, you can never take it back! For help with cyberbullying you can follow the links within this article to our various support services.
My Name is Lucie, I am in 10th grade and I am writing this to share a story about my cyberbullying experience so that other people can see that they are not alone and hopefully learn from my experience.
In January, there was a big party at a place called LIFE that a lot of the girls and boys in my grade were going to. I really wanted to go but had other plans made for that night. I was so upset that I couldn’t go, I wrote a mean post on my spam account on Instagram that was immature, angry and rude directed to some of the people going to this party. Rather than accepting that I couldn’t go, I made it seem like I didn’t want to go in the first place. About a month later, a girl in my grade somehow came upon this post and shared it with other kids in our grade. People started to say terrible things about me while I was within earshot. Hearing this, I decided to go up to 4 or 5 of the girls and apologized immediately for the post and tried my best to make things right. They all said that they understood and that was the last I heard of it for the time being.
Fast forward 6 months later and I posted a photo of myself on Instagram with the caption “Life is good”. A bunch of people including a boy I previously was hanging out with attacked this post with really mean and rude comments about me. I was so upset that I privately texted the girl who seemed to be leading these comments asking her why she was writing these hurtful things and she replied by saying “it’s a joke and we are just having fun.” She then continued to write more mean things about me and even made a post about me on her spam account, purposefully so I could see it. She threatened me saying “I deserved this” and that she would hurt me and live stream it for other people to watch. I was scared and devastated when students from my grade who I thought were my friends commented about how funny she was and how annoying I was. People from other schools that I didn’t know even chimed in! I felt attacked and all alone. My close friends tried to comfort me privately, but no one had the courage to actually defend me on social media. I had this horrible sinking feeling of everyone hating me and talking about me behind my back. Some of my sympathetic friends even wrote to me that they would “hang themselves” if people were writing these kinds of things about them. I was so confused and sad that I decided the right thing to do was tell my mom and my family. My mom reached out to my school advisor who reminded us that my school has a code of conduct policy that includes a cyberbullying section that all student sign.
It states – “Definition – Bullying is the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, or emotional, or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation, or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. Cyberbullying, including electronic comments posted in e-mails or instant messages, or on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, or in blogs, etc. The School encourages all members of the school community to report all incidents of bullying, regardless of who the offender may be. The School will take prompt, reasonable action to prevent, investigate, and remedy bullying. Any student who believes that he or she has been the victim of bullying shall report the incident(s) to the Principal, Grade-Level Dean, Advisor, Counselor, School Nurse, or School Psychologist.”
We all came to the decision that this was actual cyberbullying and decided to report this incident to ensure my safety and to try and better our school community and educate others about cyberbullying.
I then left for summer camp for 3 weeks without my phone and got to escape the toxic social media world. When I returned, I learned that the school had contacted the mother of this girl. She defended her actions by sharing with them a screenshot of the mean post that I had written way back in January. Although I didn’t know it, what I had written came back to haunt me and she said it is the reason she decided to write those terrible thing about me on social media.
I have thought about this a lot and realize now how important it is to be careful about what you put online. I have learned that even though people forgive and forget, things stay on the internet forever and can come back to haunt you later in life. It is my hope that my story will help other people to understand that even if you feel like an innocent victim, there are always two sides to every story. The internet is definitely not the right place to let your emotions and angry feelings towards a person or situation out. I was very hurt by this experience and I know many of the other people involved have also been hurt and upset. Recently, the girl who wrote all those things about me and I got together. She apologized to me for the things she had posted and we decided that moving forward we would both do our best to look out for each other and only spread kindness out on social media. To anyone going through this, remember you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to share your story, look at your own actions and do not say negative things on the internet and get caught in the moment. It can and will get better I promise.
If you are affected by bullying online we can help! Visit our Cyberbullying and Online Abuse Help Center or you can use our Total Access Support section to find the best way for us to help you for your particular problem. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the following recommendations.
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