Suicide doesn’t always make the news. However, in the last couple of weeks worldwide two girls aged ten and thirteen killed themselves after social media was used as a weapon against them. Both reports hit the top of Reddit’s Newsfeed.
Bullying is a complicated matter. It’s natural to want to cry for the blood of those responsible. Often bad parenting and neglect cause bullies to rise. Some bullies become that way after being pushed around by older siblings. Some bullies are just afraid. Eat or be eaten. Rather be a bully than be bullied.
Why is this such a problem now? Is it just because we’re hyper-connected and hear about more of these cases or are more youth suicide cases happening?
It’s not an illusion
The youth suicide results are damning.
Australian suicide statistics suggest that students who are bullied are 9 times more likely to attempt or at least contemplate committing suicide. Last year a report came out stating suicide rates for 15 to 24-year-olds are at highest rate in 10 years.
As the world waxes worse and worse, so does the ingenuity of young people inspiring other young people to take their lives. Bullying has become so multi-faceted now. You can have a video uploaded of you and a hundred people calling you a spaz and telling you to off yourself within hours. And then those at school can take that ammunition from online and push it further.
There is no escape. At home, you have the internet and the mocking of callous strangers. At school, you have people who know you more intimately reiterating the same ‘truth’.
No being made in the image of God. No understanding that life is precious.
Just the chants of little devils saying “end it”.
Everyone has a bullying story
I have both been on the side of the bullies and been bullied. When I was ten I stood by as my best friend made a girl’s life a living hell. The girl’s crime? She was black.
I laughed. I went along with it. I’d been sheltered so I didn’t quite know what was happening, but if she committed suicide her blood would also be on my hands.
When I hit my teens I was bullied rather often. I was the odd one out in school and most of my classes. It was a miracle in itself that I was made of tougher stuff than the bullies.
Thankfully when I went home in the afternoon the bullies left me alone. Most of it was being left out; being the “freak” of the school I just endured nasty comments and was otherwise left alone.
It’s even worse being a kid these days. Cyber bullying and gang stalking. It doesn’t stop when the school bell rings. It’s ongoing. Kids with too much time on their hands.
Solutions look bleak
Is there any way to solve this epidemic? Not without solving the problem of mankind.
Narcissism and a disconnect from having empathic feelings for others.
People often say that religion doesn’t solve anything. That all it does is cause wars and we’d be better off without it.
Only Christianity has the solution to the human heart. Callous narcissism which is a trait of almost all bullies and those who raised them, whether people want to admit it or not.
Moments of callousness or narcissism happen to us all. ‘As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one.’ (Romans Chapter 3, verse 10).
The only hope is an inward renewal… and the most successful in the business is Jesus.
‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.’ (Romans Chapter 12,verse 2).
Bridget Brenton is involved in Aboriginal and Islander based ministries, and enjoys tech stuff like making websites and making games in her spare time.
Bridget Brenton’s previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton
Bridget Brenton from Brisbane has been for many years a young writer then an Over 31 writer and now a Panellist marking for the annual awards.