Internet Meanies

Rebecca Sedwick

Rebecca Sedwick

Not long ago, I was flipping through the New York Times when I happened to come upon a story titled Dealing With Digital Cruelty by  It had been a year since I had written a post about a particularly sad incident of internet cruelty.  Back then, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick had leaped to her death after being cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school children who urged her to kill herself.  Upon reading the Times story, I decided to revisit this issue.

The Times article begins, “Anyone who has ever been online has witnessed, or been virtually walloped by, a mean comment.”

Because communication on the internet can provide anonymity and invisibility it can lead many to feel uninhibited. If someone is sitting right in front of you, there is a chance that a mean comment could lead to the insulter ending up with a fat lip or witnessing streams of tears running dowTextingn a sweet face.  Not so when all you see is some letters.


My Answer to the Question, Are People Who Cry When Criticized Immature?
Women and Criticism

About the Author

Jeffrey Rubin grew up in Brooklyn, received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and has taught conflict resolution there as well as at a psychiatric clinic, a correctional facility and a number of public schools. He has published articles on anger and conflict resolution and has authored three novels.


  1. School Bulling is unacceptable…Please encourage your be kind always.. I have a teenage boy in Brisbane..good manners is so raising our children

  2. Hi Janetta Waller. Much thanks for your comment. I completely agree with you that it is valuable to teach children to be kind. I wrote a post last month that discusses how to go about doing this. It’s called “Empathy, Kindness and Maturity.”

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