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The Impact of Cyberbullying with Tina Meier

The Impact of Cyberbullying with Tina Meier

Update: 2022-05-04
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It is easy for people to create fake online profiles and say or do whatever they want as a cyberbully. They often don’t think through the possible consequences of their actions. Today’s guest is Tina Meier. Tina is the Executive Director of The Megan Meier Foundation. Her life was forever changed on October 16, 2006 when Tina’s 13 year old daughter Megan Taylor Meier took her own life after being cyberbullied by an adult neighbor posing as a fictitious boy named Josh Evans. Her belief is that if there is even just one child that struggles with bullying, cyberbullying, or self-harm, that is one too many and we must be there to help and support them.

Show Notes:

  • [1:08 ] - Megan struggled with self-worth and self-esteem. Tina shares Megan’s story of meeting a boy on MySpace.
  • [3:50 ] - The things that were being said online were not true and Megan began defending herself. She felt like her mother was not on her side.
  • [4:52 ] - Megan took her own life.
  • [5:45 ] - After Megan’s passing, the boy’s MySpace account was deleted. It turned out that it was a fake account created by the neighbor.
  • [7:03 ] - It is hard to fathom that an adult was behind this, however Tina does not believe that Megan would take her own life.
  • [8:27 ] - The FBI investigated and determined who was behind the fake account.
  • [9:50 ] - The court case was a first of its kind and Tina explains the process and results.
  • [11:15 ] - Tina took her focus to beginning the Megan Meier Foundation to help other kids.
  • [13:34 ] - In the early 2000s, there were really no restrictions or laws in place to help protect people.
  • [16:02 ] - When your child is young, talk to them about the rules and make sure they understand.
  • [17:32 ] - For adolescents, share stories like Megan’s story.
  • [19:20 ] - Who will your child feel comfortable coming to in a time of crisis?
  • [20:15 ] - Be aware of behavior changes.
  • [21:21 ] - Check in with teachers and school staff to see if behavior changes take place at school, too.
  • [23:24 ] - Listen to your child and validate their feelings. 
  • [24:45 ] - There’s the concern of the other party knowing you’ve taken a screenshot. Tina advises getting another device and blocking them.
  • [26:12 ] - Kids are smart and don’t want to see their parents upset so they pretend to be okay.
  • [27:18 ] - If your child has expressed thoughts of self-harm, stay calm.
  • [29:17 ] - When they’re young, parents tend to want to fix everything for them and protect them.
  • [31:40 ] - Technology has made things easier for kids to create fake accounts. Schools can only do so much.
  • [33:31 ] - Bullying and cyberbullying are so complex because there are no quick fixes.
  • [35:30 ] - Learn social media platforms to see how kids are interacting on them. Tina shares several helpful links.
  • [37:31 ] - Some parents feel like they need to hack into their child’s social media account, but Tina explains that all you are doing is panicking.
  • [39:31 ] - As a parent, you will make mistakes.
  • [40:57 ] - The Megan Meier Foundation has tons of resources and their support does not cost anything.

Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. 

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The Impact of Cyberbullying with Tina Meier

The Impact of Cyberbullying with Tina Meier

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