The past few days I’ve been watching different movies on Netflix. Firstly, because I’m a lazy bum and secondly, because I’m in a rut with television shows.
Right now I’m watching a movie called Cyberbully, an ABC family original movie. The acting isn’t great but it overall sends a good message.
A teenage girl becomes the victim of harassment online and is tortured at high school because of it. Little does she know, the one that is harassing her is, in fact, her best friend hiding behind a fake profile.
The movie paints high school and social media in a pretty different light than my own experience.
The whole premise of high school being this social dominance arena where athletes are cool and nerds aren’t was completely not my high school experience. Some of the classified “nerdy” people were the popular people. There wasn’t a clique of mean girls who “ruled the school”. Bullying wasn’t something that was seen. With the exception of a few groups, everyone was friends with everyone. I’m sure there are schools out there that are different but I wouldn’t know.
Social media in the movie is also seen as the holy grail of social circles. This thing that you have to have as a teenager or you’re “so not cool”. I remember when Myspace became a thing in middle school and most of my friends were on it, so naturally I wanted one too but people at school weren’t “catfishing” each other or harassing one another online.
In real life though social media has become exactly that for some people. Trust me, I get it. Social media is a place where you can go to make yourself something different. You can be whoever you want to be but at what cost?
The cyberbullying in the movie drives the main character into attempting suicide, thinking that that is the only way out.
This is real. This isn’t a joke.
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young people and there is a big link between bullying and suicide in young people. (Check out the stats here)
We’ve all heard the phrase -“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”.
I’d have to say that I disagree with this statement. Words and things posted online mean everything to the person that finds their self-worth from it. Insults hurt and it’s not okay to think that it’s just “kids being kids”.
It’s hurt people hurting other people. That’s what a bully is. Someone who is hurting deep down inside and who feels the need to lash out at others from their own pain.
My whole point in telling you guys about this movie is to say: be careful about what you do online, what you’re posting, who you’re talking to, and how you speak to other people.
Colossians 4:6 says “Let your conversation be always full of grace…”.
You never know how much of an impact your words may have on other people, positive or negative.
My heart breaks for those that have been or are being bullied in any form and for those who have lost their lives as a result. If that’s you, then I want to say that I’m so sorry that is happening to you. It’s not fair and it’s not right. But please hear me when I say that you’re not alone. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you, who wants you to cling to Him. Those bullies are simply insecure, hurting people hiding behind a screen or a clique to make themselves feel better. Don’t lower your self-worth in order to appease someone else’s pain.
We should love one another and look out for one another. At the end of the day, when the computer screens are turned off and the cell phones go black, we have our relationships with each other and ultimately our Father in heaven.
Make those moments matter.
P.S. Bullying is a serious problem today, on and off-line. If you, yourself, see it. Say something or report it. Stand up for those who need people rallying for them, not further hurting them. You standing up could make the biggest difference in that persons life.