Editorial - Wednesday, September 4: It’s worse on Facebook

"WILL all this matter in a year?" my mum used to ask while hugging a hysterical mini-Jenna.

Seeing as primary school lasts for several years, the work of one particular playground bully did still matter in a year and the year after that, and probably the year after that.

Even in high school when I thought I'd escaped and branched out with new friends, the bully still managed to wangle her way back into my world.

Surely, Mum said after the girl became pregnant and left school at 14, it was all over.

But remarkably, 10 years later, a friend request arrives to my Facebook page.

Maybe she's changed, maybe she's sorry, but all of a sudden those feelings of isolation, panic and despair come flooding back despite being on the other side of the world and far away from her tirade.

I feel for today's bullying victims.

I could switch off at home and only had to dread returning to school the next day, but with social networking as it is, bullying can be so public, so constant and so permanent.

We all carry a few emotional grazes and scars from our formative years, but I'd take the war wounds over being the person that splashes their bullying all over Facebook and is reminded of that when they grow up and, say, go for a job interview.

Thank you to readers for sharing their stories. I hope anyone suffering at the hand of a bully can take comfort in knowing they're not alone.

Jenna Cairney

Topics:  editorial opinion

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