Cyber-Bullying “Plunge” to Address Important New Health Issue
Memorial Hospital’s Community Health Enhancement will host a community plunge to address the issue of cyber-bulling. The plunge will take place Thursday, Feb. 16 from noon to 4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Pfeil Innovation Center, located inside Epworth Center, 420 N. Niles Ave. in South Bend.
While most adults can remember life before the Internet and omnipresent computers and cell phones, today’s kids have only known life in the technological era. While technological advancements have brought many improvements into our culture, there are some downsides to being constantly ‘connected.’ One of these is cyber-bullying.
Cyber-bullying is defined as ‘willful and repeated harm inflicted through use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.’ Recent statistics indicate approximately one in five persons ages 11 – 18 is cyber-bullied at some point, and another one out of five persons in this age groups admits to being a cyber-bully (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009:5).
Teens report receiving threatening messages, having private e-mails or messages forwarded without their consent, and having an embarrassing photo of themselves posted online without their consent. (Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2007).
Research suggests that in addition to frustration, sadness, and embarrassment, the effects of being cyber-bullied include being fearful to attend school, academic problems, delinquency, family problems, violence, depression, and even suicide. Presenting a community plunge on cyber-bullying will increase awareness and bring generations of people together to address the issue.
Media who would like to stop by the plunge, can call Maggie Scroope at 574-274-3267.