Kids can be cruel - we all know that.

Most adults these days will be able to relate to some form of bullying during their time at school, whether it was the kid at primary school who no longer wanted to be their friend to the physical dustup in the playground as they got older.

If they didn't experience it - either as the bully or the bullied - chances are they saw it going on or knew it was happening.

When I was a teen, it was still the early days of the internet.


Chat rooms existed, but were in their infancy, and it wasn't until I was halfway through high school that texting came about.

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Bullying existed, but because there was no social media, no easy access to computers, home was a safe place. It didn't happen at all hours of the day and night like cyberbullying can.

The scary part of the increasingly technological world we live in is the way cyber bullying has become so prevalent.

As Rotorua coroner Wallace Bain says in today's paper, kids these days have become so desensitised to what they say to others.

How true is his point that teens would say, do and write things online that they'd never dream of saying to another's face.

The difficulty is that those things - easier to say - hurt no less.

It's a scary world our kids live in today but the coroner is right - there needs to be more education around cyber bullying and the impacts. And that starts at home.

While as a parent the attractive option is to bury my head in the sand and hope like heck it doesn't affect my youngsters, stories like today's are a timely reminder that ignorance or pretending the issue doesn't exists does no good.