Cyber bullying has been identified as a social nightmare. Parents in Italy are seeking to hold social media site Facebook responsible for contributing to the death of their teenage daughter according to CNN. Carolina Picchio posted her thoughts, feelings and pictures on the internet through her Facebook account. An unflattering video of her was circulated in her Italian town by a former boyfriend thus causing her agony and stress at school and in her town. She received numerous amounts of abusive messages over the internet ultimately resulting in her jumping to her death from her bedroom window. The family and friends reported that they had reported to Facebook and asked to have damaging messages and images of Carolina taken down before her death. Her family is using her death as a rallying point to help end online bullying.
Young people are plugged into the world with easy access to communicate with anyone, at any time, any place around the world. Far too many young people are using the internet to bully. In Queens, New York Gabrielle Molina, hung herself in 2013. In Dardeen Prairie, Missouri Tina Meir, hung herself in 2006. In Hudson, Florida Jessica Laney, hung herself in 2012. In British Columbia, Canada, Amanda Todd hung herself in 2012. In West Islip, Long Island, New York Alexis Pilkington committed suicide in 2010. In Vermont, Ryan Halligan hung himself in 2003. In Springfield, Massachusetts Carl Joseph Walker Hoover hung himself in 2009. In South Hadley, Massachusetts Phoebe Prince hung herself in 2010. These are just some of the many young lives lost. The number of suicides continues to grow with the easy access to and the increasing number of social media sites available to teens. The question remains, what can parents do?
Some parents are seeking to make social media sites responsible. However, most of all parents must talk to their children about what information they put online. Remind them not to give out any personal information about themselves or their family. Also they should restrict the inclusion of videos and photos. Also, parents must work to increase their children’s self-esteem by getting them involved with activities that they are interested in and where they can excel. If there are problems and difficulties parents might want to seek help through counseling or self-help therapies such as Thought Field Therapy. Parents must also make themselves available and easy to talk to refraining from being judgmental or critical.