We’ve been really excited about the new ABC Family movie that premiered this past weekend. Cyberbully portrays the very real risks and dangers that teens online face these days, specifically issues like cyberbullying, oversharing, online reputation damage and phony profiles. In the movie, high school student Taylor receives a laptop for her 17th birthday and finally decides to make her own profile on the popular social network that many of her classmates and friends are on. Without giving too much of the movie away, Taylor initially deals with petty insults and catty interactions with classmates before her situation gets much more serious because of cruel rumors that suggest some very serious issues.
Cyberbully does a great job of showing how online dangers can arise when teens least expect them. It also depicts the fact that kids who are being mean online don’t necessarily understand the consequences of their actions because they don’t see direct – or indirect – results of their bullying right away. Unfortunately, the movie contains many truths from actual bullying incidents that have been in the news in the past few years and have, in some instances, resulted in tragic teen suicides. But the positive outcome of this movie is that it is a good source for teens and parents alike to have a better understanding of online dangers, and gain insights into solutions or techniques for avoiding or fixing these kinds of situations.
This movie is part of ABC Family and Seventeen magazine’s “Delete Digital Drama” initiative, put in place to highlight online dangers and bullying. Other than the premiere of Cyberbully, the “Delete Digital Drama” efforts include a blog, resources and a call to action for teens to “rally to delete digital drama.” Hopefully high-profile efforts like these will help shed light on the growing dangers and threats to security and privacy that kids are facing online. Social networking isn’t going away, but with initiatives like this one, changes can be made.
How do you address different online issues with your kids? Will you watch this, or similar, movies with your kids?