A Bully’s New Best Friend: Social Media 


Savannah Smith, Staff Writer

   Bullying in our parents’ generation was far different from bullying today. Those adults that were bullied back in the day have made it their mission to spread awareness. Most schools have a very public anti-bullying policy which is expressed through countless mental health discussions and educational skits of bullying done in schools. Still, bullies remain, but not at school the way they used to. Instead, they resorted to a new location to release their stress and anger on their victims—virtually, specifically social media.  

   Social media has made bullying easier than ever because now the bully can hide behind a screen and remain anonymous. These online trolls are called cyber bullies. Cyber bullying can occur in group chats on social media, including constant hurtful comments in any social media comment section, and consistent harmful direct messaging on any social media platform.  

    My mother’s story of being bullied in high school inspired me to write this article and to spread awareness. My mother had a high school bully growing up and said, “ I would eat my lunch in the bathroom to avoid being bullied in the cafeteria.” She also explained how she was grateful social media wasn’t around when she was my age, “ I’m so thankful I grew up without social media. It’s not easy watching these ‘trolls’ that you don’t even know make fun of you. It’s sad because it gives people the power to say something to you online for everyone to see that they wouldn’t normally say to your face.” 

   Nowadays, eating in the bathroom isn’t an escape from bullying. Bullies can now hurt you at any time of the day no matter where you go, as long as you have a device with social media on it. This constant stress and worry of a never escaping a bully has caused many victims to feel hopeless.   

   So how can we stop cyber bullying? How can we end this? I randomly surveyed 10 adults and 10 teens and 10/10 for both parties said they have been bullied. However, I also asked the same people if they have bullied someone, and the results were the same. So, to truly stop cyberbullying, we need to take a look in the mirror and tell ourselves to stop. Instead of saying that negative comment in a group chat, making a new group chat with one less person in it, leaving a hateful comment on someone’s post, or sharing a Tik Tok of someone to your friend to make fun of them, ask yourself if you’re being the bully that keeps you from posting what you want.  

   It’s time for a real change and to embrace what the internet is for: connection and community regardless of the distance.