For the last twenty two of my thirty one years on this planet, bullying has been on my mind. I've suffered it, in some circumstances I've done it, and now with two children I consider its practise. It's almost never far from the news and again it seems another British teenager has lost their life because of it.
Considering how many of us look in the mirror first thing in the morning, the thought of sharing our image on Facebook among 1.11billion users is probably a daunting prospect. So it's arguably a masterstroke that in a world obsessed with body perfection a charitable cause rallied tens of thousands of women into revealing their bare faces on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter...
It is as a teenager that we face the greatest test of self-esteem. We become aware of how we look, how others see us and worst of all we become aware of a world that judges us. From every angle teens are told to be prettier, sexier, skinnier, to wax, to colour and to fake it. Very few talk about anything other than they we look.
It appears that hating Taylor Swift is one of the internet's favourite hobbies. Just Google her name and you're hit with a virtual tsunami of fierce hatred... But here's the thing. Hatred for Taylor Swift seems entirely arbitrary. Nobody appears able to properly justify trolling her, or disliking her. Substitute any other young pop star into any of the above-described scenarios and the public reaction would have been completely different.
Cyberbullying presents a vicious circle for educators and parents who are often cutout of the process without even the knowledge of the bullying taking place. Traditional bullying is far easier for parents and educators to intervene in. Educating students and parents alike about the dangers of Internet usage and ensuring the lines of dialogue and support remain open must be a top priority for educators as part of their pedagogic duty.