Column: 'Hypernetworking" teens and bullies
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My mom made me stop Facebook because I was bullied again. Girls from my school that I thought were my best friends, are saying that I'm having sex a lot. They call me a whore and I'm not.
I live with my dad and my grandma. I thought my dad would get it that I am depressed. They don't get me.
I don't do anything. I used to spend a lot of time on Facebook.
The first time those girls were mean to me, they tried to take a picture of me going to the bathroom, I was scared. I only go during the middle of class now.
They also said I was a slut. My friends talked me out of doing cheer and now they are in it and I' not.
My mom said I'm bullied because I spend too much time on Facebook. It's not fair.
Off Facebook Again!
Dear Off Facebook Again,
"Hyper-networking" teens (those who spend more than three hours per school day on online social networking sites) are 110% more likely to be a victim of cyberbullying, compared to those who don't spend as much time on social networks. Your mom is trying to stop you from being cyberbullied.
Don't pull away from your mom-she does "get you" and how you were dissed:
She gets that this is destroying your self-worth and causing you to isolate from creating true friendships.
She gets that this is emotionally devastating to you.
She gets that you have been ambushed because your "friends" envy you.
She gets that you are depressed and she knows suicide rates are up for your age.
Continue talking with your mom. Count yourself blessed that you had the courage to tell all the adults in your life. You're among the low percentage of girls who tell.
You need to ask for a confidential meeting with your mom and your school. Invite all adults you've told. Don't stay a victim by staying in touch with your enemies.
Part of your solution is to make yourself a leader. Join clubs, church, and community activities. You will gain new friends and you'll define yourself in a better way.
Going from Victim to Survivor to Leader (we call that the Triangle of Triumph) will help you feel a great sense of worth.
Once you've traveled our Triangle of Triumph, you may create a new Facebook account for a few true, real friends only. Then time yourself to one hour a day.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda's STOP BULLYING Foundation for Girls.
Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org or by mail to The Daily Courier 1958 Commerce Center Circle, Prescott, AZ 86301.