“There have been 41 suicides since 2003 involving cyberbullying in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, but most of the victims were also bullied in school and many suffered from mental illness, including depression, said John C. LeBlanc, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax who conducted the research.
“Although cyberbullying is a new and fairly awful modern manifestation of bullying … it is not a cause of suicide,” he told CBC News. “It’s only one factor among many … People who are cyberbullied have, for the most part, been bullied in more traditional manners as well.””
While many of are quick to point fingers at an external source when it comes to suicide victims, we do need to remember that there can also be, and in most cases are underlying psychological issues. The teenage years can be a very trying time for the youth as they are struggling to develop an identity to their peers while still trying to define their identity with themselves. When the two are not harmonious, it can lead to confusion and frustration. The internet definitely opens a realm for people to portray themselves the way they chose and as they want to be seen, but once they leave this cyber-world to face the real world they have to put on their masks again.
In the documentary we watched, it was very sad to see these youth struggle so much with their own personal issues, but I thought it linked nicely with this article. Most of these people had issues aside from cyber-bullying, one an eating disorder, the others self-esteem issues and feeling of rejection from the society. They found a safe haven on the internet, but in Ryan’s case, he found the path to suicide. I guess the external factors lead these children to search online for assistance in what was essentially hurting them, but the issues would be there with or without the internet, and suicide, eating disorders and social rejection were issues long before the internet. As much as there is assistance in negative behavior online, there is also an abundance of self-help resources and even positive antidotes to peoples problems.
In my personal opinion, the internet is not to blame, nor the parents. I do think however, parents should monitor their children online and also stay very involved in their lives in order to hopefully stop these issues.