We have to understand what really happened to Amanda Todd
One day, a young girl made one mistake that sent her life spiraling out of control.
As she lost control in her life, she turned to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain. In the end, she decided to end her life.
Today, we are going to talk about Amanda Todd — not the media sensation, but the girl behind the story, taken from her own words.
The only way to stop a repeat of this tragedy is to understand what actually happened in this girl’s life.
Amanda went looking for attention in an Internet chat room, as many people do.
She suffered from low self-esteem and wanted to feel better about herself.
However, what she found was a cold-hearted sexual predator. He built up her confidence to the point she was willing to do whatever he wanted. In a moment of weakness, she exposed herself on a web cam.
She thought she was in an anonymous situation and no one would ever find out.
A year later, the predator was back to exploit Amanda again. As she refused to show him more, he posted a picture of her everywhere, including on Facebook.
One simple moment in her life changed everything.
The media have done an incredible job of dehumanizing Amanda.
Through this process, Amanda is seen less and less as a person and more as a fictional character. The more we hear this story, the more we become desensitized to it.
By turning this story into an anti-bullying campaign, the media have been able to win over public opinion and keep this story in the news. All the interviews with her closest friends are examples of how her story has been manipulated.
The message Amanda died to get out has been lost.
The online attacks have continued even after her death. The comments you can read online about Amanda are disturbing.
Most of these individuals are making the exact same mistake Amanda made — they assume an online identity gives them anonymity.
These comments seem to be more of a contest to see who can post the worst possible attack. These individuals have to learn the simple lesson Amanda learned: Once it’s online, you can’t take it back.
Clearly, in order to prevent a repeat of this tragedy, we have to understand what actually took place.
A troubled young girl trying to escape her emotional abyss lost everything.
She called out for help for three years, to no avail.
In a final attempt to take back control of her life, she wrote her story on cue cards and made another webcam video.
Amanda committed suicide shortly after posting her story online.
To bring an end to her pain, she went back to where it all started — on her webcam.
Imprisoned by loneliness and silenced by her peers, Amanda hoped the world would understand her final message.
Thompson Rivers University