Past You Said It!

Cyber Smarts

This question was from the editors at American Girl: "Drama and technology can sometimes go hand in hand. Have you ever been annoyed by someone who texted or e-mailed you, or who posted something online? Or did someone text or e-mail others to spread a rumor about you? If so, how did you deal with it?"

These girls shared their thoughts:

My friend helped me set up an online account. She knew my password and username. After we had a big fight, she went into my account and posted lies. To deal with it, I changed my password and later shut down my account. I learned that I have to be more careful with my personal info.
–An American Girl fan, age 12, Virginia

I went to an online game website that has chat rooms. I guess the site wasn't a great place to play because I always got rude comments from people. Later, I thought about it and decided that I could spend my time in more useful ways, so I quit the game for good.
–An American Girl fan, age 11, Connecticut

My best friend was cyberbullied by another girl who used a fake name and started saying mean things about her. The bully's former friend told us who the bully was, and the bully got her cell phone taken away so that she couldn't hurt people anymore.
–Meg, age 9, New York

Two years ago, one of my best friends was posting mean comments to me under a fake name. I was very hurt when I figured out that my friend was being so mean to me. I realized that maybe I had said some things in the past that had hurt people, so I checked my texts, e-mails, and social media sites and apologized to anyone that I might have hurt. This made my other friendships much stronger.
–Aimee, age 12, Oklahoma

My friends and I post to our own poetry blog, and recently someone left some really nasty comments that included some swear words. It was scary, but my friends and I stuck together and deleted the comments. We were upset, but we didn't let it ruin us.
–Claudia, age 12, Massachusetts

Cyberbullying has happened to me, and I have just ignored it. You can't let mean people get to you like that. I might feel bad at first whenever I see something bad that's been said about me, but then I just tell myself that that's not who I am, and the person who said that doesn't know me. Everything feels better after that.
–Maegan, age 11, Wyoming

Some unknown person started e-mailing mean things to me. But when I went to school, I thought I knew who it was. The meanest girl at my school was asking people for their e-mail addresses, and she had asked me for mine, too. I told my mom about it. My mom got to the bottom of it and told the bully's mom, and now that girl isn't allowed to have e-mail anymore.
–Gabrielle, age 10, New Hampshire

Someone texted me something really inappropriate and mean. The next day at school, that person came up to me and asked if I got the text. I smiled and said, "Yes, and it was sweet of you to send it." The person got really confused and has left me alone. I am proud that I stood up like that, and now I always do it for my friends.
–Eliana, age 12, Pennsylvania

One of my friends texted me something that hurt my feelings. I told her that I really valued our friendship and that I would appreciate if she stopped saying that because it hurt my feelings. She did get mad, but I chose to not respond. I learned that drama by text isn't worth it.
–Meghan, age 13, Georgia

There have been a couple of times when I was made fun of online. I haven't let it bother me, because I know that people say things online that they won't say in person. If a friend is mean online, I talk to her at school or when we hang out so that there are no more misunderstandings.
–An American Girl fan, age 12, North Carolina

I had a friend in elementary school who started e-mailing out quizzes and saying that you could be her friend only if you got all of the questions right. I deleted the e-mails and talked to her about it. She admitted that she had simply let a fun thing get out of hand.
–Erin, age 11, Michigan

I have gotten a few annoying e-mails and texts from some of my friends. I usually ask my mom what to say. She always gives me the right answers and tells me how to deal with certain things. Now I am pretty laid back when I get annoying an e-mail—I just let it lie and reply politely.
–Sarah, age 14, New York

I used to have trouble with texting my friends. My friend texted me constantly and even started picking fights. But instead of calmly asking my friend to stop, I retaliated, and we had a huge fight. I decided to delete texting from my device, and I feel a lot better now that our texting isn't ruining our friendship.
–Lucy, age 13, California

A ton of girls in my school use social media, and they like to make fun of other kids and post mean pictures. It is just so wrong. I try to make friends with kids who get bullied.
–Anna, age 11, Texas

One time I got a text from my brother's friend saying bad stuff about me. I didn't understand because the text said, "Ugh, Kacey is so annoying," as if the text wasn't meant for me. It turns out that my brother's friend meant to send it to someone else but accidentally sent it to me instead. I was hurt, so I told my brother and my family. They helped me to see that it didn't matter what other people thought of me, and that helped.
–Kacey, age 13, Wyoming

Well, my friends like to text all night long. It was getting really annoying, so I said politely, "Hey, I like chatting with you but could we stop texting past 10 p.m.?" And my friend was fine with it, so now I can get some sleep!
–Hattie, age 13, Utah

Once I was texting my best friend. She and I got in a huge fight and were mad at each other for weeks. Then she posted our fight online and told people to choose sides! I couldn't believe it. I was so frustrated and angry with her. I told my mom what happened and asked her for advice. My mom helped clear things up.
–Tessa, age 11, Ohio