Daily 49er

Amanda Todd’s suicide can be a lesson

Keeping an eye on young internet users

Jack Chavdarian, Assistant Social Media Editor

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As you may know by now, cyberbullying has led to another teen suicide. Amanda Todd was found dead in her home just a few days ago.

The 15-year-old Canadian was targeted through social media with topless photographs of her being posted on Facebook, according to CNN.

Anxiety and depression became issues for the teen soon after. Her family relocated for a fresh start. Amanda eventually changed schools, but the photographs still haunted her and reappeared online.
 

She began drinking and taking drugs. As her anxiety worsened, she started cutting herself to cope through her pain.

Todd had attempted suicide before by drinking bleach. 

She also made a Youtube video one month before her suicide. She told  her story through flashcards.

While her death is under further investigation, cyberbullying is still playing a role in the lives of countless other children.

According to Cyberbullying.org, 1 out of 3 young people receive death threats online. About half of all young internet users have been victims of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly. 

The even scarier part is that only 1 out of every 10 children tell their parents about being bullied online. 

If you want to make sure the youngsters you know are in the safe, here are some things the website says you should do:

-Talk to children about cyberbullying, and let them know about the dangers it can lead to.
-Make sure children know they should talk to an adult if they are being cyberbullied.
-Explain to them that they should never share anything online or over their phone they wouldn’t want made public.
-Keep the computer in a family space and not someplace a teen could be alone with it.
-Make sure you regularly access their accounts and monitor their technology usage.

You can read more about cyberbullying at Cyberbullying.org.

For those who have gone through similar events as Todd and would like to speak to a professional, there’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on campus: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/students/caps/

For Todd’s case, however, details as to how she committed suicide aren’t being released yet. 

The most important thing we can take from Todd’s case is that the young people we know don’t have to share her fate. Make sure you’re involved in what your youngsters are doing online, and make sure they can talk to you about what’s going on. This is a horrible situation that should never be repeated. 

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