We have known for a long time about the cyber bullying epidemic. We are also aware that cyber bullying has resulted in many teens and even college students committing suicide. Suicide is the extreme response to cyber bullying. This action also results in many teenagers dealing with severe depression or turning to drugs or alcohol. Also in a few unfortunate cases it has resulted in violence where a teenager seeks revenge using a gun and killing people.

Because cyber bullying can result in such drastic and devastating consequences, we need to be aware of the issue and active in trying to prevent it.

There is a new form of cyber bullying called “roasting.” Sometimes teens ask other teens to roast them and other times teens just decide to “roast” someone. The “roasting” is supposed to be similar to what comedians call a “roast.” However, teenagers are not comedian. Therefore, teenagers tend to go to far and their comment are extremely mean and cruel. As a result, the person being “roasted” is not prepared for these comments and can become depressed or suicidal.

Good Morning America recently did a very good story about what roasting is and what the consequences can be for teenagers. I have included a link to their story so you can have a better understanding of what roasting is and how it impacts teenagers. Please watch this story http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/parents-roasting-cyberbullying-trend-49409758.

After you watch this story, talk to your teenager about this form of cyber bullying. Explain why it is inappropriate and dangerous. Ask your teenager if they are aware of it, if they have participated in it or have they been the victims of it? It is important to ask these questions. Teenagers do not tend to go to their parents about these issues. If they do, they often go too late. Talking to your teenager can help stop cyber bullying. You also may prevent a teenager from becoming a victim and becoming suicidal. You may even be saving your own child’s life. This reminds me of an article I did about a teenager who committed suicide due to cyber bullying. In her obituary, the one thing she wanted published was her letter asking teenagers to be nice to each other. This is not a big request and I think we should honor it and all of us be nice to each other.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating teenagers and children. He has over 20 years experience in this area. For more information about Dr. Rubino’s work or private practice visit his websites at www.RubinoCounseling.com or http://www.rcs-ca.com

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