Monday, July 25, 2011
Movie Review - Cyberbully
ABCFamily did a wonderful job with this movie. Not only did they tackle a particularly relevant topic in today's society, but their lead actress, Emily Osment (from Hannah Montana), did a smashing job with the role.
Poor Taylor is the victim of online bullying through a site called "Cliquesters" (sort of like Facebook or Myspace). As things worsen at school, first her crush, then her best friends abandon her. Even as her mother tries to help her (and can I mention that the mother in this movie is wonderful...involved in her daughter's life), it becomes so bad that Taylor becomes suicidal.
When she goes to a support group after her suicide attempt, Taylor learns that though online bullying is very difficult to prevent, there are some ways to alleviate the harassment. As not all states in our country have laws that actually prevent cyberbullying (only when a verbal or physical threat has actually been made), victims must speak out and bring the problem into the open, rather than allowing the bully to back victims into the proverbial corner...
It's ironic that I am almost 30 and yet last year I became the victim of a cyberbully. It is not a problem that is solely in the realm of teens. Thankfully, as an adult, I was less afraid to speak out...I printed out evidence of the hateful harassment and alerted the authorities. Though technically nothing was prosecutable, the police were able to speak to the bully and let them know that they were not to contact me again. I shudder, though, to think how I would have handled this if I had been in my teens.
I think that this movie, much as it was entertaining, is very important. Though many teens may not admit that they need a movie like this, many will (hopefully) internalize the tips on dealing with cyberbullies and more real life suicides can be prevented.