I recently heard the news about a Nova Scotia teen, Jenna Bowers-Bryanton, who took her own life in January. It turns out that she was a victim of online bullying, and her death has motivated loved ones to launch a campaign to end cyberbullying. Here's an article about the campaign:
Jenna's story has caused me to reflect on what the internet, and social networking in particular, means to young people. As a somewhat young person myself, I (admittedly) spend quite a bit of time on Facebook. Given that Facebook only emerged a few years ago, though, it was never part of my experience as a high school student. In many ways I'm glad, because I was already a pretty insecure teen and social networking probably would have just exacerbated my insecurities. Then again, who knows? At any rate, it's kind of a moot point because social networking is an important aspect of many people's lives. How can we make cyberspace a safe space, and not a dangerous one, for those of us who spend time online?