Here’s the saddest news ever: Holly Grogan, a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl in Britain, jumped off a road bridge and killed herself last week, allegedly after a barrage of mean messages on her Facebook wall appeared. Her parents blame “cyberbullying” and said in a statement, “Holly struggled to cope with the huge pressures placed upon her by the modern complexities of ‘friendship groups’ and social networking. Every responsible parent will empathize with our constant battle to instill self-belief and confidence in our children.” [NY Daily News]Ugh, this sounds just like 13-year-old Megan Meier in Missouri, who committed suicide after some brutal cyberbullying. In Megan’s case, classmates and one of their moms, Lori Drew, created a fake MySpace account and pretended to be a boy named “Josh Evans.” “Josh” romanced Megan, and then told her the world would be a better place without her in it, so she hung herself.
I wish teen girls understood that even if stuff that happens on Facebook walls looks permanent, it’s not. Getting something nasty written about you on a Facebook wall is just like getting something nasty written about you on a bathroom stall. You can’t get a janitor to scrub it off, but you can get it taken down if you try—in the case of social networking, it’s easier to catch the meanies who are doing it.
But at least Holly and Megan weren’t put on a “slut list” like the girls at Millburn High School in New Jersey? Right? Anyone? Anyone?