Is Cyber-bullying Really the Cause of Teen Suicide?

A Facebook page honoring of Amanda Todd and others who have committed suicide after being bullied has more than 1.1 million likes.

A study that was recently released at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition states that cyberbullying is almost never the mere cause behind teen suicide. Other factors such as depression and real-life bullying were shown to be the most popular reasons behind teen suicide. The study found out that 78% of teens who committed suicide were bullied both online and offline. However, only 17% of the teen suicide cases were bullied exclusively online.

The study examined around 40 suicide cases from many countries around the world. The ages ranged from 13 to 18. And, as one would expect, a lot of the cases have been found to already be suffering from mood disorders or depression. Also, it was found that females were more likely to commit suicide.The study author Dr. John C. LeBlanc said in a press release that “certain social media, by virtue of allowing anonymity, may encourage cyberbullying.”

The image above is a screenshot of a Facebook page dedicated to Amanda Todd (a case we discussed in class). She was the victim of offline and online bullying, and ended up committing suicide. The 15-year-old posted a video on YouTube telling her story through flashcards before committing suicide. She claimed that she was bullied physically and online through text messages and Facebook.

It saddens me that we live in a world where cases like this have happened and still happen. However, the internet can not be solely blamed for this. As you can see in the screenshot above, A LOT of people are already taking initiative to help put an end to this.



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