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Cyber bullying has been a problem for decades. In the more recent years, technology has advanced very quickly now having an abundance of social networking applications such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Periscope. The list can go on forever. The fact of the matter is that young adults are using these social media applications to harass, humiliate, and frighten their victims. While many of these young adults that engage in this terrible act, many do not even believe they are causing any problems. This can lead to many things, the main outcome is suicide among the victims who have to endure it each and every day. Cyberbullying is as strong as ever and people need to recognize that and put an end to all of it.
One of the staples of cyber bullying is all the forms of social media that is easily accessible on the internet. “…young people use computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices to harass, threaten, humiliate, or otherwise taunt their peers,” (Hinduja). Many of these social media sites allow users to interact with each other, connect with friends and send messages. This can be used and abused to send hurtful texts, nasty status updates or even post unwanted photos onto the certain website. This gives bullies an advantage over the one being bullied because the person taking it cannot escape it, whether it be at school, work, etc. It is a constant abuse that can and will lead to self-doubt or even self-harm.
The effects of cyber bullying can be harmful on a physical, emotional, and mental level. The outcome of cyberbullying can become physical when the victim decides to self-harm. In most cases of cyberbullying, the victim will begin to harm themselves or start a dangerous drug or alcohol addiction to cope with the harmful things being said. When the victim of cyberbullying is receiving the backlash on a day to day basis, the words begin to be engraved into them until they believe that it is the truth about them. It causes an emotional unbalance within their bodies and the victim can become depressed, anxious or even feel worthless. On a mental state, the repetitive cyberbullying can mess up a person’s way of thinking about themselves and the life around them. Spending time with family and friends will no longer be enjoyable. As one victim said, “It makes me hurt both physically and mentally. It scares me and takes away all my confidence. It makes me feel sick and worthless” (Hinduja).
Cyberbullying has found its way into high school, college and universities where technology plays a very intricate role. Almost all courses taught in classes require some kind of online resource or reference. It is hard to stay away from the internet while in school. In this day and age teenagers and young adults alike spend countless hours on their phones, laptops and tablets. They are on it while walking to class, waiting for friends or just to kill time. Politics, difference in opinions, and social status can all allow cyberbullying to weave its way to cause commotion. According the article “Cyberbullying Is a Problem in Universities”, “the available information so far indicates roughly one in five undergraduate students has been cyberbullied, mostly through Facebook, text messages and email” (Luk). Cyberbullying not only effects students, some cases from faculty and staff have risen up. For example, if a student received a bad grade, some of those students might not agree with the grade the professor has given them, some are known to constantly send emails attacking and calling them stupid.
The repercussions of cyberbullying can be seen through statistics from 2007. 21% of people from the age of 12 through 18 were made fun of or called names. 18% were subject to rumors and 6% were threatened with harm. While many of these young adults were bullied in person, for the most part, a lot of the rest of the bullying took place online on Twitter, Facebook and many other services. According to other surveys, “only 35% of teens and 51% of teens told their parents,” (Phillips). Many young adults are afraid to tell their parents because they think they will lose their cellphone or internet privileges. These children should not feel like they cannot tell their parents because of the luxury of internet access. Parents are here to help and guide their child away from all the hate.
There will also be people who believe that cyberbullying is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Some will say that nothing lasts forever on the internet. Everything is temporary on the internet and people being harassed are only harassed once and never again online. Another reason why cyberbullying would not be a problem because new information is constantly being added onto the internet. Drama or harmful texts can be completely forgotten if someone spams that page with other nonsense. This especially happens on social networking sites where people commit their cyberbullying activity. A big way cyberbullying can be avoided is already happening in front of everyone. Any little nasty post, update, or comment made towards a person will not show up at a simple stroke of keys. This is great if someone is searching someone for a job, they’ll see a person’s accomplishments and not nasty comments made towards them. Finally, people can simply walk away from the computer. It is the most effective way to avoid cyberbullying and it can keep someone from feeling depressed and sad from the abusive things say about that certain person.
There is a number of things that can be done to help against the fight of cyberbullying. Yes, cyberbullying is a terrible issue in todays and past generations. Some who commit these terrible things are not aware of the damage they cause. These young adults need to realize that their actions behind a computer screen have a serious impact on the other side of the screen. People need to wake up and understand the severity of cyberbullying.
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