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Bullying is an act of harassment that can take various forms; verbal, physical, and cyber. Bullying or harassment in general occurs in person and on the internet. All present differently, but all are very harmful. 90% of students from grades 4-8 have been harassed or experienced bullying, 70.6% of students in have witnessed bullying in their school, and over 71% say bullying is a problem. Cyber Bullying is when the harassments and harmful teasing happens online. 34% of people feel like they’ve been cyberbullied in their lifetime, 87% of young people have seen cyberbullying happening online, majority of bullying happens in Instagram. Cyberbullying is becoming an international problem, children, teens, and even adults experienced cyberbullying or even witnessed bullying. It really effects the victim mentally, effects are always negative. Common effects are fear of school, bad grades, and doing poorly in activities, while more serious end are self harm, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
To understand cyberbullying, we need to understand the deeper meaning and the 3 types of bullying in general. Bullying is an act of harassment, a form of discrimination, a verbal or physical aggression that involves two sides that has an imbalance of “power”. Bullying takes on different forms. Verbal bullying like name calling, teasing, and verbal threats of physical violence can effects a child in a harmful way. It can have a detrimental effect on a child, especially if the child is already suffering from low self esteem. Effects on self image that carry on through later years that causes emotional and psychological effects like anxiety and depression. Social bullying is an attack for someone to harm one’s social reputaition or cause humiliation. Spreading rumors, giving menacing or intimidating looks, encouraging others to socially exclude someone, and damaging social acceptance is an example of social bullying. Physical bullying involves hitting, hitting, and taking or damaging property of another person. Physical bullying is easy to recognize and many children have experienced it. Often started in pre-school, physical bullying is a way to assert dominance and animosity using physical violence towards others.
Majority of bullying are verbal bullying; name calling, with cyber bullying rates rising in present times. Majority of bullying are happening in schools, 13% is subject of rumors, and 3% are threatened with harm. In 2017, about 20% of students ages 12 – 18 had experience bullying during the school year. Today, those rates are increasing. There were significant reports of bullying across the world, 47% Canadian parents have reported their child is a victim of bullying, 95% of kids is being mistreated and bullied in schools on Brazil, and African countries are most common in the top ten highest bullying rates in the world.
Cyberbullying is when the bullying and harassment is happening on our electronics; online/social media. Nowadays majorities of students and children in schools have an effective platform for bullying. Instagram has been used as a main platform for a lot of teenagers nowadays, easy to use, free, and effective in updating status. Instagram is also used for expressing opinions and thoughts. With that being said, Instagram is also used by teens at school for harassments, threats and public shaming. You can also message anyone easily with DMs in Instagram, you can easily post embarrassing photos of your friends, and adding a mean hashtag under those photos.
Cyberbullying can cause harmful mental damage to a child/teenager. Social rejection, loss of self esteem, depression, and it decreased one’s school performance. Victim gets rejected by the community, and bullied through social media, this may cause them to lose confidence, issues with being open, and loneliness. This can also affect the person relationship with their family, they could get embarrassed to talk about their problem to their family, so they kept quite and isolate themselves, this leads to a weak connection with their family. School performances is also affected, the person can’t focus on their school work and tend to get bad grades. There are also long term effects like self medication, thoughts of suicide, severe depression, social and physical change as a whole. In their social life, this could effect how they talk and perceive others, they’ll have trouble opening self to others and have trust issues. Victim could have issues with his family. The person may feel insecure about talking with their parents, worried that their parents might not accept them. Cyberbullying can affect their university life, having trust issues with their surroundings could make them dependent to their parents, when they should start living independently or living on their own.
In 2017, 12 year old New Jersey Girl, Mallory Grossman comitted suicide after the cyberbullying that she’s been having trouble with grew worse and worse. Her parents is suing the New Jersey School District for failing stop the harassment that’s been happening to their daughter for the last couple of weeks. Experts say parents should limits children and their phone usage. Solutions are thrown around. There are also various solutions in wether or not does the person should fight back or not. People need to stay calm and reach out for help. Communication is also a big deal, they need to talk to their parents and tell them how they’ve been feeling lately.
Teens and Children are more dependent to their gadgets. This could be a problem, allowing youths to be easily influenced by opinions, thoughts, and criticism. Some of them are hate comments which affect them mentally. Public shaming by social media is becoming a problem, a lot of teens using social media is posting embarrassing photos of their friends as a joke, when the results could be harmful. Teens are creating hate pages to torment, bully, and teased their peers on Instagram. Almost the entire infrastructure of Instagram is made out of teens. Creating hate pages to post embarrassing photos of their friends anonymously. Though, now Instagram have features to blocked and delete offensive and hateful comments in their site. But, this isn’t that effective because majority of people send hate on the DMs, giving messages privately, so the bullying still continues.
Snapchat is also used by teenagers for bullying. Snapchat revolves around pictures and photos. It’s not anything suprising that public shaming could be found. In January 2018, a 12 year old girl named Eva, was reported having suicidal thoughts, after her parents found out she was inflicting self harm, she had plans to end her life. Eva had been taken to a psychiatrist, because she’s been avoiding her parents about what’s been happening in her social life. Eva finally talks, she talks about having a hard time at school, with at first just being a subject of a joke to people urging her to commit suicide. Eva said the torment and hate happened at Snapchat. We finally understand that she is a victim of cyberbullying. One of the biggest problems in bullying is cyberbullying is a new territorial for parents, because they used to had no technology in their times. Fortunenately, Eva was given help and she’s been getting overwhelming supports after her picture in the hospital was posted by her mother on Facebook, with the caption explaining her hellish journey through the torment and bullying on social media.
Cyberbullying is happening around the world and is happening to adults. In 2012, 27 year old Raymond Malinay became a victim of a prank. An anonymous user from Facebook had accused him of having and spreading HIV, the same user used his photo from his photo album, edited it, by putting a supposed statement from the AIDS Society of Philippines saying that he was wanted for HIV and currently are spreading the disease. Those photos were spreading and there were malicious rumors, hateful and offensive comments filled his Facebook site. Despite getting hate and cyberbullied, he was getting backed up by his close friends and family which really helped him out. Raymond was falsely accused of having HIV, and became a subject of harassment and a cruel prank. Raymond went to the hospital that was affiliated with the AIDS Society of Philippines to dispute the allegations. The test turned out negative, and then Raymond had proved that it was all a cruel prank towards him. The AIDS Society of Philippines issued the disclaimer that they had nothing to do with the cruel post that started the rumor.
The big issue in Cyberbullying is a that there’s a lot of countries that don’t have strong anti-cyberbullying law. Philippines, Russia, and the USA are examples. Although many countries don’t have strong law for Cyberbullying, many countries are strongly against it. In Russia, there are often not so much of the authorities to take online abuse seriously. UK, the LGBTQ community is often the target of cyber harassment, a senior police officer is calling for new legislation to deal with the cyber abuse. In Indonesia half of Indonesian internet users have fallen victim to cyberbullying. The majority of internet users of Indonesia were aged 15 to 19, and Java was the region with the most netizens because of the high internet penetration.
When it comes to dealing with cyberbullying ourselves, we need to know what to do and how to deal with it. Being cyberbullied in social media, the most important thing is knowing your limits, don’t respond or retaliate. Reacting or responding to a cyberbullying perpetrator may exactly what they are looking for, a reaction out of you. If you can, try removing yourself from that situation. The only good news from bullying online is you can capture, saved it, and show it to someone who can help. Tell the perpetrator to stop. Reach out to help, to family and friends you most trust, so you can tell what’s going on and help you process what’s going on. Protect your account and don’t share your password with anyone. If someone you know is getting bullied, take action and help them.
A lot of people tried to help people that have been cyberbullied, but sometimes they don’t understand the deep context of bullying. We need to understand cyberbullying, it could happen anywhere. Damaging photos on Instagram, bullying on Snapchat, and false accusations on Facebook. Learning and understanding the context can effectively help you to help the person you’re helping, don’t judge them, work and help them, by supporting them mentally. Cyberbullying can be harmful, leave lasting long effect, so talk to them and help them.
There’s a lot of organization on Anti Bullying, they offer us support and help people in cyberbullying issues. StopBullying.gov is an American designed to offers different types of bullying information, provides help in identifying bullying and cyberbullying. National Bullying Prevention provides Anti Bullying for youths, educators, and parents. These include websites for elementary students, teens, and teachers about bullying in general. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, an anti bullying program, that implement their program to schools in a training program or working with certified trainers. Stomp out Bullying is an anti bullying organization that provides tools for educators, they have a teenange ambassador program to encourage teens to speak out against bullying in their schools and communities, they also provides a helpchat line for 13 – 24 year olds that need support. Ditch the Label is international non-profit anti bullying organization, that provides support, information about bullying and cyberbullying and provides campaign about anti bullying that help the ones that need support. And the Anti Defamation League’s World of Difference Institute focuses on bullying and cyberbullying prevention and response.
To conclude the essay, cyber bullying is an international problem, and it needs to be eradicated. Bullying can also be stopped by helping others to stand up for themselves, help people in need, support them mentally, support and have a connection with them. Cyber bullying can be helped by blocking the bully, minimalized used of social media, report the cyber bully, and confront them on a peaceful manner.
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