Bullying has taken center stage in the news in recent years. It began with Megan Meier, the 13-year-old who suffered from depression, who thought she had met a cute young boy on Myspace. Sadly, her new boyfriend wasn’t who he said he was. Istead, Megan’s parents later discovered that a neighborhood family created “Josh’s” fake Facebook profile and duped the girl into believing that Josh loved her and then cruelly dumped her soon after. The bullying was just too much for Megan to take…and she’s not alone.
More recently, Rutgers Freshman Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommates secretly taped him having a sexual encounter with another young man in his dorm room. Tyler’s roommate then posted the video on the Internet, which apparently caused Tyler to jump to his death. For teenagers who are already susceptible–such as those who suffer from depression or discrimination based on their sexuality–bullying can be the one additional factor that pushes them over the edge.
Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, professor and chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, also added that “late-adolescence is a a high-risk time for the onset of the major psychiatric conditions — psychosis, mood disorders, substance abuse, trauma and stress.” For anyone who believes that they are being bullied–cyberbullied or otherwise–MTV’s new project, “A Thin Line”, provided stories, resources, and methods to stop the bullying without hurting yourself.