By Brooke Courtney and Atalie Black

Thirteen-year-old Megan Meier received a MySpace message from a Josh Evans, asking her to add him as a friend. Meier got permission from her mother since she did not know him, and soon began chatting with him about everything. After a few months, Evans started saying rude things to her, making things worse for a girl who was already suffering from depression and ADD. Little did she know Josh Evans never existed.

Bullying takes many forms in modern society.Due to advancements in technology a new kind of bully has emerged from the interwebs: the “cyberbully.”

Computers, cell phones, social networking sites, and e-mail make it easier for bullies to target their victims because they don’t have to confront their victim on a face-to-face basis.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as e-mailing, allow a cyberbully to attack someone without actually having to do harm face-to-face.

More than 95 percent of teens who use social media have witnessed cruel behavior on social networking sites and say they have seen others ignore the mean behavior.Fifty-five percent of them witness it regularly. Cyberbullies spend an average of 38.4 hours online, 11.6 more hours than other teens, according to Robin Allweiss, a Florida bullying and cyberbullying attorney who handles cases across the nation.

More than 65 percent of teens who have witnessed online cruelty have also witnessed others joining in; 21 percent say they have also joined in the harassment. With only 7 percent of parents worrying about their children being bullied via social networking sites, their children have a 33 percent chance of being bullied according to Pew Internet and American Life Survey, 2011. On that same note, 1 in 6 parents know their child has been bullied through a social networking site.

In the past year, one million teens were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year, according to Consumer Reports in 2011. With an average of 43 percent of teens, ranging in age from 13 to 17, report that they have experienced some sort of cyberbullying in the past year Fifty-nine percent were girls, and 41 percent boys.

After Meier received one last hurtful message from Josh Evans, Meier’s mom, Tina had this “God awful feeling” and ran from the kitchen to Megan’s room. On Monday, October 16, 2006 She found her daughter’s body hanging in the closet. Megan died the next day, just three weeks before the14th birthday party she had been so excited about.

This “Josh Evans” was not a 16-year-old boy who was hot. He wasn’t a boy at all. This profile was made up by the mother of one of Megan’s old friends. A few other parents knew about it as well, making her confidence in the made-up boy a big joke among the neighbors. Some of the neighbors’ daughters joined in on the fun, one of them sending the last message, the message only Megan’s father saw, the message that drove Megan to take her life. “”Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.”

The internet is not a safe place for everyone, even if the parents are monitoring every little thing. Social networking sites make it easier for bullies to psychologically and emotionally bully whoever they want.

Kids who are experiencing cyberbullying can go to their school counselor, or a counselor provided by their parents. Another place teenagers can go to is their parents. Parents are one of the first places a teen should go, that way they get all the help they can get. A website students can go to is to see what they can do to stop it, as well as deal with it.