Time for Our Youth to Increase Cyber Awareness

Happy #InternationalYouthDay, August 12, 2022.

While you read this, according to UNDP recent stories about 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation of youth in history, are transitioning to adulthood. That is one side. On the other hand, they are challenged by social media misused, particularly cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying: Be aware and avoid it. Source: Kompas.com

Indonesia, with about 70 % population in their productive age is also facing many challenges faced by its youths. One of the challenges is the cyberbullying. As cited by the Jakarta Post last August 10, one of the recent victims of cyberbullying acts was an 11-year-old student living in Tasikmalaya, West Java, Indonesia. This poor young student was coerced by his schoolmates into engaging in bestiality with a cat. And many of us shocked — of course.

Here is part of the story written by The Jakarta Post:

Shocking details aside, the death of a bullied student in Tasikmalaya last July goes to show how widespread cyberbullying remains here. When the news about a boy who died after having intercourse with a cat surfaced online, Indonesians were left in shock. But the tragedy turned even more disturbing when it was found that he was bullied by his classmates into doing the act. The incident happened in stages: The boy — an 11-year-old student living in Tasikmalaya, West Java — was coerced by his schoolmates into engaging in bestiality with a cat. They recorded the act and uploaded the video online. When the clip went viral, the boy spiraled into a deep depression and his health rapidly declined in a matter of days. Despite the hospital’s help with a suspected typhoid fever from his depressive episode, he passed away on July 18.

What happened to the cyberbullying victims? Source: Into The Light.

According to media, in their investigation local police has questioned 15 people on the incident. The victim act apparently was taped and his friends spread the video into social media, which in turn embarrassed the young boy and made him traumatized.

He fell into psychological stress, did not want to eat nor drink, and brought into other depression syndromes. He was hospitalized and died in the hospital.

Read this: How to Stop Cyberbullying.

Expert thinks that the bullying has, as usual, happened many times and tainted by pornographic video content through social media. According to Indonesian National Commission for Children (KPAI) there are about 226 cases of physical and psychological harassments, including bullying in 2022 (see Kompas.com , July 24, 2022).

Last year (2021) UNICEF Indonesia reported that, in Indonesia, bullying is among the key issues that negatively impact the well-being of children. According to recent data:

  • 2 out of 3 girls and boys aged 13-17 have experienced at least one type of violence in their lives. 
  • 41 per cent of students aged 15 have experienced bullying more than a few times a month.
  • 45 per cent of 2,777 young people aged 14-24 surveyed through UNICEF’s youth engagement platform U-Report said that they have experienced cyberbullying.
Protect your child. Source: Very Well Family.

As stated by UNDP, youth are the most connected population on earth. Around 71 percent of the world’s young people use the Internet compared with 57 percent of other age groups. Especially on social media platforms, they have carved out a space for themselves to freely raise their voices to fight injustice and inequality. On that note, and in relation with the above incident, we must pay add the following:

It is now the time for Indonesian youth to increase their awareness and understanding on cyber literacy and be more mindful in using social media, particularly avoiding all illicit (or dirty) content.

For our Youth: Happy #InternationalYouthDay

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