One of the prices of living in the 21st century is the influence social media can have on our lives if we partake.
In some ways it is a great tool, a brilliant way to keep in touch with family and friends, engage with your community, become part of closed groups on subjects that you enjoy, hobbies and pastimes.
I spend a lot of time on Facebook. I have no interest in Twitter or Instagram or any other social media site.
As an administration person of a small but lively private group my day is sometimes kept full sorting issues out, vetting invitees and, sadly on occasions, closing people down or kicking them off the group for their behaviours towards others and for breaching the group rules about bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia and generally being annoying.
The group is for adults who are all well-educated, mature, worldly-wise people who should know the social barriers and norms.
One or two slip for whatever reason, incurring the attention of the group's administration team. This goes on all over the world every hour of the day now.
Facebook has become the new Friday night drinks venue for people who live far apart but enjoy each other's company and their shared experiences in whatever activity the group is about.
I find Facebook a pleasurable pastime generally and as someone who has an opinion about most matters I enjoy reading the opinions of others, often getting a different take on a subject which occasionally causes me to re-think my position.
Sadly the most common cause for people to move on from our wee group is bullying.
Every member of the group is an adult, no teenagers or children, mature, responsible, supposedly rational law-abiding older members of our community.
A very few just cannot help themselves and attack others verbally, either straight out abuse or unkind needless remarks. They go of course.
Group members need protection and that is the role of a decent administration team look after your mates.
On the odd occasion Facebook has intervened before we are aware of a problem.
The problem with this is if it happens too often Facebook will take the group down so constant reminders to people about behaviour are needed.
It is a sad comment on society that bullying exists across the age spectrum and across all levels of our community.
In 2017 New Zealand had the highest youth suicide rate out of 41 countries in the developed world, at 15.6 suicides per 100,000 people aged between 15 and 19.
This rate is twice the suicide rate for the comparable cohort in the USA and almost five times that of Britain.
There are several identified causes of these appalling figures, among them poverty, unemployment, and being a young Māori or Pacifica male.
Bullying and the need to "harden up" features amongst these figures.
Sorry, telling a young man to "harden up" is bullying as well as a really uncaring approach to what may be a really serious issue.
That is absolutely shameful and those comments and attitudes alone show that there is something very unhealthy in the minds of many New Zealanders, people who can, either inadvertently or deliberately, go out of their way to make another person's life such a misery they end it.
For most, especially adults, bullying on social media is usually easy to deal with. Block the person and report the comments.
Children and teenagers are very vulnerable to negativity and being shamed by their peers.
Sadly Shaun Robinson of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand provides data that shows reported bullying in New Zealand schools is amongst the worst in the Western world.
It could be argued that identifying bullying as an issue encourages reporting and maybe these results are a good thing but I suspect the opposite is the truth.
Some New Zealand children, for whatever reason, peer-pressure, a fear of being bullied themselves and a desire for popularity, become bullies of others. What they do can mark a person forever.
Social media is the easiest and safest way to be a bully, its not face-to-face so no fear of instant and maybe painful retribution, it is instantly seen by all the others in the bully's group of friends and receiving the message is usually devastating for the child.
Many childhood bullies become adult bullies which probably explains why there is a steady stream of these people leaving Facebook groups every day.
They simply cannot acknowledge and change their behaviour even if they do have an insight into it.
Perhaps they should form their own Facebook group – Bullies Anonymous.
They can spend their days venting their spleens on each other instead of on people who maybe do not have the ability to deal with them.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.