Cyberbullying might be a small thing, but it can destroy someone’s life. Last year, a video that went viral showed a 12-year-old girl kneeling and being slapped in the face about 20 times by a group of teenagers in broad daylight on the rooftop of a building in Hong Kong.
Cyberbullying occurs when an individual use social media or other technology platforms to intentionally abuse another individual. There are 1.8 billion teens around the globe, and the social trend requires the younger citizens to have access to the internet.
Statistics shows that cyberbullying cases are on the rise in Hong Kong schools as the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the city’s students. Most importantly, both boys and girls are likely to be cyberbullies or the victims and it affects all races.
When rumors go online, it will spread quickly, and everyone will know about it. Cyberbullied victims suffer from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and more likely to refuse to go to school because they were worried that their friends will mock them. Worse, cyberbullying can drive the victims to commit suicide due to embarrassment.
While the government “has all along adopted a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on school bullying,” including cyberbullying, conventional solutions address bullying after the damage is done.
Currently, if we or others are being cyberbullied, we are often advised not to hesitate to report immediately to your parents or teacher. Also, adults tell us if we just ignored the cyberbully occurred, it will never solve the problem. At very least, we can help by not joining the cyberbullying occurred and give support to the person doing the bullying.
However, these actually give us few positive impacts as research has found that 9 out of 10 students suffer in silence - they do not tell anyone.
Going from 0 to 1
To better tackle the bullying problem at its root, education is key.
Adolescents often act on impulse and post mean, hurtful, embarrassing messages online that they may regret later. As we know, teenagers' desire to get approval of friends and acquaintances can lead them to do things they otherwise would never dream of. However, they often don’t know how to end it when damage is done.
Therefore, we have organized a campaign called “Better Choices”, which empowers adolescent to consider better choices before posting anything hurtful online.
Better Choices is the first ever solution to proactively prevent cyberbullying in Hong Kong before the damage is done. We want to stop cyberbullying at the root of this issue before hurtful messages go out on the internet.
Better Choices is an organized social media to initiate the movement in the community. We encourage schools to start at their institution. Every Better Choices is part of the movement to stop online hate and promote tolerance and inclusivity.
By starting the Better Choices, you have the ability to lead and empower your fellow adolescents to become safe and responsible digital citizens. Selected student leaders should work with their school to formalize their Better Choices activities. These student leaders will then organize activities throughout the school year in conjunction with their school's administration to promote the awareness of online and in-person bullying and to create a more tolerant, inclusive environment.
1. Resource management: Running a successful campaign requires resources such as time, money, volunteers, and materials. As we have never got any experiences, one of our biggest challenges is managing these resources effectively and ensuring that they are being used efficiently.
2. Communication: Communication is key when organizing a campaign. We need to ensure that we are communicating clearly and effectively with our team, student helpers, and supporters. This includes managing email lists, social media accounts, and other communication channels.
3. Maintaining momentum: It can be challenging to maintain the momentum of a campaign over an extended period. We need to ensure that we are regularly engaging with our supporters, creating new content, and staying active on social media.
We are asking for $1,000 to launch the campaign for training and purchasing needed resources.
Who are we?
We are the secondary school students from Mu Kuang English School.