The first tweets? Audience goes wild. By the end? No one's laughing.

This parody of the popular sketch "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets" from "Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel" isn't funny at all. And it's not supposed to be.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Bullying looks completely different in the digital age.

Back in the day, being a bully required size and/or confidence. Bigger kids with even bigger personalities had to do their intimidating in person, either in the classroom or on the playground. Essentially, the end of the school day also meant the end of the taunts and torments. These days, social media has completely changed the bullying game. Kids are plugged in to their smartphones 24/7, which means they have access to each other on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat long after class ends. And while social media has proved to be a great way to make and stay in touch with friends, it's also a breeding ground for those looking to harass and torment others nonstop, all behind the veil of anonymity.

When teens are asked about their experiences with online bullying, the responses are quite scary.


Cyberbullying isn't just "kids being kids." The consequences can be extremely painful and even fatal.

Too often bullying is downplayed as just a part of growing up. And while bullying isn't new, in many ways online torments are even more painful because the Internet gives tormenters 24/7 access to their victims. Not to mention, once those nasty messages and photos are online, it's almost impossible to have them removed.

In recent years, numerous young people have taken their own lives after being tormented by their peers online. Amanda Todd and Tyler Clementi are just two of too many young people whose lives ended in suicide after struggling with online bullies. And in 2013, two teen girls were charged with felonies after a 12-year-old they had bullied on Facebook committed suicide. So while some kids are able to recover from being picked on, not every case has a happy ending.

What can parents do?

Sometimes there are clear signs that something is wrong, such as failing grades, irritability, insomnia, and unhappiness or depression. But many kids who are struggling with bullies are afraid or embarrassed to talk to their parents or teachers and instead keep it to themselves. That's why it's important for parents to talk to their kids and check in with them regularly so they know they have someone to turn to if something is wrong. Here are a few tips for parents to make sure their kids aren't dealing with bullies and aren't bullying others:

• Talk to teens about cyberbullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences. Make a rule that teens may not send mean or damaging messages, even if someone else started it, or suggestive pictures or messages or they will lose their cell phone and computer privileges for a time.

• Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyberbullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.

• Teens should not share anything through text or instant messaging on their cell phone or the Internet that they would not want to be made public — remind teens that the person they are talking to in messages or online may not be who they think they are, and that things posted electronically may not be secure.

• Teens should keep cyberbullying messages as proof that the cyberbullying is occurring. The teen's parents may want to talk to the parents of the cyberbully, to the bully's Internet or cell phone provider, and/or to the police about the messages, especially if they are threatening or sexual in nature.
bullyingstatistics.org






Thankfully, organizations like the Canadian Safe School Network, which created this parody, are working to increase awareness and find new ways to combat online bullying. Here's hoping that more parents, students, and faculty can work together to keep our kids safe online and give them the confidence to stand up to bullies online and off.

More
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular