Columnist Larry Magid: The reality of cyber-bullying

By Larry Magid
Palo Alto Daily News
The first things you need to know about cyberbullying are that that it’s not an epidemic and it’s not killing our children. Yes, it’s probably one of the more widespread youth risks on the Internet and yes there are some well publicized cases of cyberbullying victims who have committed suicide, but it should be looked at in context.

Bullying has always been a problem among adolescents, and sadly so has suicide. While cyberbullying had a role with those publicized cases, there were other contributing factors.

Cyberbullying is often accompanied by a pattern of offline bullying and sometimes other issues such as depression, home problems and self-esteem issues. The most famous case of “cyberbullying,” the tragic suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier, was far from typical. Cyberbullying is almost always peer-to-peer, but Meier’s alleged bully was the mother of one of her peers after Meier allegedly bullied her daughter. Full story.

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