For me, the message I got from the movie was "Don`t trust your family or your friends," which I am hoping wasn`t the true message. The bullying in the movie felt like it was dreamt up by a group full of former Prom Queens and Quarterbacks who had never experienced true bullying. This is not to say that any bulling should be tolerated, but merely that this was very G rated bullying and I found it to be slightly comical that Taylor would try to kill herself over the words of others.
The movie is about Taylor, an "average" teenager with friends. She`s not super popular, but she`s not a geek. Her father recently left the family and she has developed a bit of a bullying problem with one of the popular girls at school. She shares a laptop with her mother and brother and is a bit of a gossip with her friends Samantha and Cheyenne. Taylor`s mom buys her her own laptop for her birthday and allows her to make a profile on a social website called Cliquesters (which is equivalent to Facebook.)
I am going to pause here to comment a bit on this. I am only 22, and I have a 2 year old, BUT when my son finally joins the online world I am going to make DAMN sure he knows what he is getting into, what can happen, what WILL happen and that I am here to talk to about it. Throughout the movie Taylor kept everything secret from her mom in shame and the mother banned her from Cliquesters, which we all know just makes kids want to use it more...and she DID. The movie has very poor communication between the whole family, which is common in American families today. Parents need to set aside time to have conversations with their kids at a very young age about these things, build bonds and forge relationships to keep this kind of thing from happening.
So Taylor makes an account on this site and posts all sorts of pictures of herself and her friends and puts up all sorts of information about herself for the world to see, obviously uncaring that people can see all of this and use it against her. It comes as a big surprise when the popular girl at school, Lindsay, starts making rude comments on her pictures and talks about her in a chat room. Obviously this social site didn`t give the option to put her profile on private. Her brother begs her to make an account for him and Taylor refuses, so later that week her brother hacks her account and makes a status something along the lines of "I`m a dirty girl who needs to be spanked"
Okay so, obviously when her mother allowed her to make a profile on this site she did not correctly warn her child, or supervise anything, or even look at the site to see if there were privacy settings. She did not teach her child not to listen to other people, or to believe in herself. The brother was only grounded for his actions too, my dad would have beat the hell out of me if I pulled a stunt like that. The mother was just like "I`m very disappointed in you Eric." Fuck that! I would be beating his ass with a belt until I could see bone, that shit is ridiculous.
Of course since there were no filters in Taylor`s profile everyone saw the status and went crazy. Taylor was humiliated and had to do the walk of shame at school and whatnot. During all of this her love interest Scott is still talking to her, but another boy appears. James, an online profile who seems to be a perfect match for her, stands up for her against the bullyers in the chat room. He quickly becomes a confidant to Taylor, and she tells him everything. Just throws abandon to the wind and tells this pictureless stranger everything about her life, because obviously her mother never taught her not to talk to strangers.
Over the next few weeks Taylor is bullied by the popular kids. She doesn`t even try to stand up for herself. Her friends turn their backs on her, and then James posts a status saying he caught the Clap from Taylor.
Taylors mother really dropped the ball somewhere here. She never taught her daughter to have a thick skin. My dad always told me two things "suck it up" and "deal with it"...and I did LOL. Girl calls me a slut, am I a slut? No? then WHY THE HELL would I get all worked up over it? Someone says I`m stupid. Am I? No? THEN WAHH GET OVER IT. Kids today are placed in bubble nests stuffed with unicorn hair and pixie farts, they never learn to deal with anything. Bullying is a very big issue and from both ends. Parents don`t teach their kids NOT to bully, and they also don`t teach them how to deal with it. They`re not talking to their kids and then are baffled when they commit suicide. How do you not know what the hell your kids are doing?
So then Taylor goes into emo mode and puts a video up about how she`s going to kill herself, which in reality a video just means you DONT want to kill yourself and you`re biding time trying to find someone to stop you. (Her brother was in the house, didn`t have a clue) Samantha sees the video and rushes over to find Taylor failing at removing a non childproof cap from a pill bottle. Seriously girl, can`t even get dying right?
Okay so all jokes aside it was a decent movie, but there is so much more to bullying than this craptastic movie. In high school I was out every night with my herd ofJuggalos. I was slapping on facepaint and running through the streets at night, wandering around Walmart. There was plenty of times where drugs were passed right by my face and I NEVER partook. I drank, but never enough to end up like any of them. We have a video of this one cracked out chick so drunk she passed out on the table and slammed her face into the floor. I found it stupid to end up like that, because those videos are still going around, and one day her son is going to see that.
I was the friend who took hits, spent my paychecks on gas only to stay with my friends. I let one of them cut me so they wouldn`t cut themselves and I dealt with so much bullying it wasn`t even funny, but you know what? I`m still here. I stayed level headed and didn`t let it get to me.
Bullying is a serious problem in todays society, on both ends of the spectrum. Too many times I see these videos of these kids killing themselves over stupid shit. They are words people. They can hurt but they don`t make you actually bleed. If you are a parent reading this, find the time to talk to your children. If you`re a child/teen/whatever, talk to your parents if something is bothering you.
Remember once something is on the internet it can never be erased. Surf Cautiously
Cyber-Bullying: Issues and Solutions for the School, the Classroom and (Google Affiliate Ad)