Cyberbulling in Ames High

Bullying is something most, if not all, people face in the real world. Whether it’s a couple of mean names or physical abuse, everyone encounters it at some point or another. If getting put down in the real world isn’t bad enough, people are now taking advantage of the Internet to express their hateful thoughts in the virtual world. "I feel sick that I would sink to their level," a former online bully said. "I was just trying to give them a taste of their own medicine." This Ames High student was willing to be interviewed under the condition that their name be kept anonymous. The type of cyberbullying this person admitted to was creating fake accounts on popular social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to attack the people that apparently bullied them in person. "I didn’t know what to do. I considered talking to a teacher, but I wanted to get back at them," the former bully said. "Looking back at it, I regret my decision to sink to their level." Ames High senior Grant Heinrich said he has been bullied online in the past but doesn’t think much of it. "Its easy for people on the social networks to hide behind their keyboard, to vent their hateful opinions from there," Heinrich said. The rise of social media and the anonymity it grants has given people everywhere the ability to take out their frustrations online without fear of reprisal in real life. "I don’t take the person seriously if I don’t know them," Heinrich said. "They don’t know who I am." Grant considers online bullies to be mistaken rather than bad people. “I don’t think they’re always bad people. I think they have issues that they are just venting on the Internet because they can,” Heinrich said. While the Internet is one of the greatest inventions of the modern era, it has allowed people who wish to remain anonymous an avenue to give light to their malicious and hateful remarks, without fear of any physical repercussions.