Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Phoebe Prince Facebook bullying: A psychiatrist's view

Phoebe Prince could not even find peace on Facebook. The "Mean Girls of South Hadley,” a group of teens from South Hadley High School in South Hadley, MA, bullied the 15-year-old Phoebe Prince mercilessly until she hanged herself. Although the teens are being charged for it, it will never replace the real life. Not only did the mean girls harm her physical life, they also ruined her online life. Even after her death, Phoebe Prince's Facebook page had the Mean Girls of South Hadley's comment all over it, reports Fox News. Dr. Keith Albow says that the Mean Girls might have gotten together a bunch of information with which they were going to terrorize Phoebe Prince, including her malleable sen! se of self and her sensitive nature.

Phoebe Prince, Facebook and predators

Dr. Ablow suggests that anyone who is a bully often can quickly identify what the weaknesses are in their prey, as they did with Phoebe Prince Facebook. Such bullies are fueled by a have to tear down others, so they quickly develop the ability to find their openings with bitter efficiency.

Being a teenager is hard for anyone, but for a girl like Phoebe Prince, who was both pretty and unsure of her place in the world, it is particularly difficult. While millions would give anything to be good looking, the reality as Dr. Ablow has observed is that if a teens lack confidence, being attractive can make them targets, rather than popular. Many bullies will look to tear down anyone who they think won't have defenses to mount resistance.

Dr. Ablow suggests the Mean Girls' drug was hate

“Dehumanizing her had to are intoxicating,” he told Fox. Otherwise, what would be the point of the whole thing? Ablow says that getting information from the Phoebe Prince Facebook was a means to an end, or in this case a high. Taking into account how widespread Facebook and other social media is today, it is easy to see how personal information might be dangerous in the wrong hands. Identity theft issues can arrive and destroy credit when also, in the case of Phoebe Prince Facebook, can destroy the psyche.

Is controlling bullying possible?

Dr. Ablow suggests that “In a controlled population like a school system, it is possible, from early grades, to instill in young people a psychiatrist’s view of those who perpetrate violence toward others—as broken, instead of brazen; gripped by emotional disorder, instead of in control.” When bullies aren't romanticized as James Dean-esque rebels anymore, then the cultural shift that is so needed can occur. Detention and suspensions are ineffective tools, Dr. Ablow feels – better methods for dealing with discipline in schools are needed. Concern is needed, not scorn. What is needed is removal or home schooling until a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist can assure the school that the bullying will stop. Caregivers or parents have to step up.

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