Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Stalking and Cyber-Bullying

The YWCA's Girl Talk series will hold a session on Cyber-Bullying
and Cyber-Stalking on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
We've all done it -- the cyber-smack down.

In my case, it's often because someone has posted something on the Internet which I find so loathsome, ignorant, or just plain wrong that I unleash a quickly assembled shower of facts designed to "put them in their place."

It's not my most attractive characteristic, although I suppose some might find it entertaining to watch.

I try not to do it too often. I try to be polite. I do not always succeed.

After all, despite my best efforts I suppose I am a semi-public figure in this town and should probably "be the change I want to see in (Pottstown)," all apologies to Mr. Gandhi.

(Also, truth be told, I often get cyber-smacked back and, perplexingly, find myself in the wrong.)

But despite it all, I try not to make it personal.

And that's where the line gets drawn, as I see it, between "spirited debate" and cyber-bullying or stalking.

Cyber-bullying is nothing but personal and the people most likely to be victimized and, paradoxically, to abuse their victims are young people, particularly young girls.

This is also true of cyber-stalking, an even more unnerving situation to confront.

We've all heard the stories of tormented teens, some of whom commit suicide, after being bullied on-line, on their phones, to their point where they feel they cannot even escape inside their homes.

To help them (and their parents) navigate these murky waters rides the Tri-County Area YWCA and their "Girl Talk Series."

The next installment, "Cyber Bullying and Stalking," will take place next Saturday at the YW, 315 King St. in Pottstown from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

The special speaker will be Colleen McIntyre, an assistant Montgomery County district attorney with experience the narcotics, juvenile and sex crimes units.

According to the YWCA's information, "stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group to another person."

They define cyber-bullying as "the use of the Internet or cell phones to harm other people in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner."

The July 28 event is part of the YW's year-long "Year of the Young Woman," and two additional Girl Talks remain.

On Sept. 22, the subject will be "Advocacy" and on Nov. 10, girls will be urged to "Go Green."

For more information call the YWCA at 610-323-1888 or visit their web site at


  1. Evan we really appreciate the support you and the Mercury give the YWCA Tri-County Area. Thank you for getting the word out!

  2. This Cyberbullying is often happens with young teens as they don't know about its risk and keep involves into it.