Cyber Bullying and Social Media
Social media has become a big part of society. According to a report done by Pew Internet & American Life Project, eighty-one percent of teens use social media sites. There are pros and cons to social media. The dark side of social media is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the modern way of bullying.It causes depression and anxiety which can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide. Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature according to dictionary.com. Ditchthelabel.org, an international anti-bullying charity, estimates that around 5.43 million people in the UK have been struggling with cyberbullying, with 1.26 million people suffering extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis. These huge numbers are backed up by the fact that Childline has seen an 87% increase in calls concerning cyberbullying in the last three years. The same study finds that teen girls are more likely to be affected than boys (36.7% versus 30.5%), though around a third of all teens reported some kind of online harassment. Public Health England has found that social status impacts bullying, with teens from more affluent families more likely to be cyberbullied. As for where cyberbullying happens, an American study from the American Journal of Public Health suggests that the majority of cyberbullying occurs over Facebook and via text message.
Cyberbullying has ruined many lives. Cyberbullying on social media is linked to depression in teenagers, according to new research that analyzed multiple studies of the online phenomenon. Social media use is hugely common among teenagers, said Michele Hamm, a researcher in pediatrics at the University of Alberta, but the health effects of cyberbullying on social media sites is largely unknown. Both bullies and their victims are more likely to suffer from depression than youth who are not involved in bullying. This connection can be long-lasting; people who are bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression as an adult than children not involved in bullying. Teens who commit suicide often suffer from depression. Experts hesitate to say that bullying is a direct cause of suicide, but it may be a factor in a teen’s depression. The Cyberbullying Research Center found that victims of cyber bullying were more likely to suffer from low self esteem and suicidal thoughts. They suggest further research needs to be done to see if low self esteem is a result of being cyber bullied or if it makes a person more likely to be a target of cyber bullying. A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health, reported by Reuters, found that victims of cyber bullying showed more signs of depression than other bullying victims. This may be because cyberbullying can be more relentless and more frightening or discouraging, especially if the bully is anonymous. Anxiety is also a huge factor when it comes cyberbullying.
Cyber bullying can be tough to spot. Many young people who are being bullied don’t want to tell teachers or parents, perhaps because they feel ashamed or they worry about losing their computer privileges at home. Parents often tell their children to turn off the mobile phones or stay off the computer. Many parents don’t understand that the internet and mobile phone act as a social lifeline for teenagers to their peer group. Recently, there has been much media attention concerning this topic and its relationship to suicide. It is unknown whether other factors play a part, but cyberbullying is a contributing element in teen suicide. Many were affected by Sheniz Erkan suicide, a victim of cyberbullying who was sadly too afraid to speak up. Interestingly, a third of those who experience cyber bullying do not report it. If we are to succeed in preventing bullying, we need to break the climate of silence in which it thrives by empowering children and young people to speak out and seek help. cyber bullying can have deleterious effects on a child’s mental health. In particular, it can leave teenagers with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, less interest in school, a deep sense of loneliness, self-harming and, in some cases, suicide.