A 21st Century Epidemic

Megan Meier did it in 2007. Jesse Logan joined this fatal list in 2008. Now Pheobe Price and Tyler Clementi are the most recent victims in a tragedy carried out by their own doing, but their blood doesn’t lie too far from the hands of those that prompted such premature deaths. Cyber-bullying isn’t a typical disease that can be prevented by way of cautionary measures and protection. It’s an infliction that penetrates in deeper ways than any virus ever could, into the crevices of one’s mind, planting ideas—straight out of Christopher Nolan’s Inception—immersed in shades of shame and stripping a person’s sense of self-worth. What’s more, no physical contact is ever needed. Perpetrators and provokers alike are able to inflict damage with a few taps on the keyboard and a single click, far-removed from the actual victim. All the while the victim’s insecurities are set ablaze and their vulnerabilities showcased like animals in a zoo, waiting to be gawked at in a park that is ever-expanding and illimitable. Other than conjuring enough angst and hatred, the action itself is so easy to do. In fact, some of us may partake it in and never feel guilty. After all, anonymity reduces accountability. Or does it? If these types of incidents had stopped with Megan Meier, we would be recollecting the incidents of a single tragedy. With the prevalence of more and more cases, it’s becoming, in my opinion, a technologically-induced epidemic. Continue reading

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