Cyberbullying – Growing Problem

Cyberbullying is a Growing Problem that Isn’t being Dealt with enough “go kill yourself” or “nobody needs you” or “disappear” is what appears on young children’s screens on a daily basis, mostly on snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and many more socializing apps. Nowadays, technology has advanced and evolved over the years and they have benefited us in so many ways. Such as work, school, socializing, and many more.

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But what if that technology was used against us, more specifically; adolescence. This term is called cyberbullying, where anonymous don’t know hide behind a screen name and pretend to be your friend. But in reality, nothing is known about them other than what is their favorite color, celebrity and other things people talk about. Cyberbullying has become an overwhelming problem over the years as more and more young children are attempting suicide and going through depression. Now, put yourself in the victim’s shoes. 90% of adolescence don’t tell their parents. Worrying that they would get into more trouble, so adolescence go through harassment due to cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a problem since young people are very vulnerable to people online and can depression and even suicide.

Cyber bullying as we know are causing more and more teens to commit suicide and have depressive thoughts. All forms of bullying are seen online as well, Physical, Verbal, Mental and even forms of harassment and abuse; Such as sexual harassment and online stalking. At first, the bully would make the Victim feel inferior to his or her power. the victim will feel small an unable to do anything. And after several hurtful or mean comments about them they would eventually feel like they’re unable to stop any of it. And they can’t stand any of it anymore. And they can’t put exactly put their electronics down since the victim would want to see what is being said about him or her. And considering the fact that “Most teenagers (over 80 percent) now use a mobile device regularly, opening them up to new avenues for bullying” (“Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts for 2016 – 2018.”), this shows that these things are not only common, but are appearing more and more all over the world. Most victims are female since they are most picked on for their physique.

This is one case of successful suicide, Tyler Clementi just graduated high school and moved on to college, and his looking for a promising future. But he confessed that he was gay to his roommates that her trusted, the roommates decided to make fun of him by hooking up a camera in the room they were staying in. They managed to get footage of him kissing another man and shared it with the entire school. A week later, Tyler committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. (“Cyberbullying Court Cases.”) This case isn’t the only one as well, there are plenty more people who have been bullied online and eventually committing suicide. In this case, multiple people have seen his secret; this caused a riot with his entire school. This instantly made him feel inferior since there are hundreds of people laughing at him and judging him and making him have depressive thoughts on this. Thinking it will never end and he can’t stop any of it, ultimately leading to suicide.

The increasing rate of successful suicide mostly occurs amongst adolescence. Most cases of these child suicides are linked to bullying in school and cyberbullying online. Other reasons include Parents, academic failure and lack of self-esteem.

This book (Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones. Dear bully) was written by 70 people who has experienced online bullying. All these stories were from people who have either experienced bullying or had a friend or close loved one who has history with online conflict. The book is made up of seventy stories and on the back of the book we can find some background information about the people who have told these stories. For example, their school life, family, what they like to do, and them as a person. I have read the first story and these cases of bullying and cyberbullying are rather severe. They can involve successful suicidal cases, people being mentally abused, people being harassed and even the police getting involved.

To solve cyberbullying we should decrease the amount of screen time used by young people while also providing access to help the victims when needed.

Today’s children have grown up with so many different electronics in their hands, and the worst part is that they are already attached to them as well. They wouldn’t know what to do with their lived in a world without phones, laptops, television, internet and many more. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that parents limit screen time for their children. Despite those recommendations, “children between the ages of 8 and 18 average 7 ½ hours of entertainment media per day”, according to a 2010 study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Whether you keep the TV on 24/7 or stare at your phone, too much screen time could be risky. Here’s what some of the research says:

  • Obesity: Most electronic activities don’t evolve physical exercise. So, engaging in electronic devices can be a risk factor for becoming overweight.
  • Sleep problems: Most people would watch TV before bed, but that can be suicide move for your sleep schedule. Since the light emitted from screens messes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia.
  • Behavior problems: elementary school children can spend an average of 2 hours on TV and electronic devices. And this can lead to behavior problems since they can crave their electronic more than usual.
  • Educational problems: Elementary school students who have extended time periods on TV and other electronics do worse in schooling and tests.
  • Violence: Exposure to violent TV shows, movies, music, and video games can cause children to become attached to it and think the world is like that. Eventually they would use violence to solve miniature problems and snap at friends and family more

This also means that too much screen time can also effect people in other ways other than cyberbullying

Experts also say that limiting screen time can help combat cyberbullying and potentially stop it as well, The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report in May stating that this all-time access to technology and considering the speed of which technology is evolving is making bullying even more of a public health issue. Just saying stop to it isn’t enough when you consider all the negative things that can come out of it. “Combine more free time and less adult supervision and kids are more likely to engage in cyberbullying behavior”, especially outside of the normal classroom and school grounds,” Dr. Pamela Schuetze, Professor of Psychology at Buffalo State College said. Understanding the ramifications for both those who are bullied and those doing the bullying is very important”. According to Dr. Schuetze, kids who bully often times were bullied themselves and use it as a coping mechanism, emphasizing all those mean things about them. Almost half of 11 to 25-year-olds world-wide says that they had experienced threatening or nasty social media messages, emails or texts. “Two-thirds said they would not tell their parents if they experienced something upsetting online”. However, 83% of teens and parents want social media companies to do more to tackle the problem. The government is recommending that social media companies:

  • Respond to reports of bullying within 24 hours
  • Give young users clearer guidelines on how they should behave online
  • Take tougher action on those who break the rules

It also advises the government to:

  • Launch online safety lessons in schools
  • Require social networks to report cyber-bullying data

All of these ideas to prevent cyberbullying is good and well throughout, this is already a big improvement to what the social media companies did before. Before, all they did was block the bully but that doesn’t help the victim; as they can still have after effects of depression, self-bullying, mental scaring and much more symptoms. Some social media companies even tell the victim to delete their account. But that is taking away a part of the victim’s life because of something that isn’t their fault.

Numbered statistics:

  • 20.1 percent of middle school and high school students were affected by online rumors about them
  • Just over 7 percent of middle school and high school students said that they saw a mean page or website created about them
  • In a survey done on parents and adults in Asia, 79 percent of parents know that their child or a child that they know have been threatened with physical harm while playing online video games.
  • At august of 2016, 16.9 percent of middle school and high school students have identified themselves as victims of cyber bullying
  • 34 percent of students worldwide said that some point in their lives they have been victims of cyberbullying.
  • 17 percent of students say that they have been bullied in the past 30 days.
  • Roughly 64 percent of students who claimed to have been cyberbullied explained that it negatively impacted both their feelings of safety and ability to learn at school.
  • More than one in 10 students (12 percent) admitted to cyberbullying someone else at least once.
  • Most teenagers (over 80 percent) now use a mobile device regularly, opening them up to new avenues for bullying.
  • More than half of all teens who use social media have witnessed cyberbullying.
  • Nine out of 10 teens who have been bullied through social media report that they’ve ignored it. A further 84% said they’ve seen others attempt to stop cyberbullies.
  • Cyberbullying and suicide may be linked in some ways. Around 80 percent of youth that commits suicide have depressive thoughts. Cyberbullying often leads to more suicidal thoughts than traditional bullying.
  • Almost 43 percent of kids have been cyberbullied victims. Around 25 percent have been victimized more than once.
  • Adolescents who engaged in cyberbullying were more likely to be perceived as “popular” by their peers.
  • There are significant cross-overs between in-person and online bullying. 83 percent of students who had been bullied online in the last 30 days had also been bullied at school. Meanwhile, 69 percent of students who admitted to bullying others online had also recently bullied others at school.

cyberbullying can result in poor academic performance.

According to StopBullying.gov, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Among grades 4-12, roughly 50% of them says that they have experienced bullying in a month. And more than 70% of students says that they have witnessed bullying in their school. Most common types being verbal and physical, also including things like name-calling, teasing, spreading rumors, stealing belongings, sexual comments and gestures, or physical violence. Physical bullying is a little uncommon compared to cyberbullying and verbal bullying, although that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem. People also think that a little bit of bullying isn’t a big deal, it may even be helpful for the child to teach them how to stick up for themselves. however, about 160,000 children deliberately miss school due to the fear of bullying by fellow classmates. Every day, more than 280,000 students are physically harmed in schools and one out of ten students who drop out of school mentions repeated bullying as a reason they did what they did. “Bullying can have a serious impact on a child’s educational experience, and not just by causing him or her to miss school. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that bullying has a negative impact on a victim’s academic performance.” Any student can be the target of bullying. One out of 5 students report being a victim of bullying at some point (National Educational Statistics, 2016). Students who are bullied have increased school avoidance, decreases in grades, and difficulties with learning. These students often suffer from sleep difficulties, headaches and stomachaches, and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Students who are frequently bullied are two times more likely to have suicidal ideation or attempts. Students who are bullies also have long-term issues such as academic problems, substance use, behavioral issues, and problems with the law. They are less likely to obtain meaningful employment and often struggle with independence and relationships as adults.

References:

“Cyberbullying.” Edited by Larissa Hirsch, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2014, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html

“Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts for 2016 – 2018.”

Comparitech, www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/cyberbullying-statistics/.

Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. “”Cyberbullying.”” World Book Student, World Book, 2018, www.worldbookonline.com/student-new/#/article/home/ar754745. Accessed 17 Oct. 2018.

Kelly, Millicent. “Cyberbullying Court Cases.” Study.com, Study.com, https://study.com/academy/lesson/cyberbullying-court-cases.html

Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones. Dear bully, 70 authors tell their stories. (n.d.).

Nhlapo, Zongile. “This Is How to Protect Your Children from Cyberbullying.”

User Account | NewsBank, 2018, https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=AWNB&t=&sort=YMD_date%3AD&fld-base-0=alltext&maxresults=20&val-base-0=cyberbullying%20&docref=news/16F1A39DA44314C0

OperationKeepsake. “Cyberbullying – Posts That Paralyze.”

YouTube, YouTube, 15 Sept. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsE6spm-gyI.

Prahbu , Trisha. “ReThink Before You Type – Trisha Prabhu.”

TEDxTeen, www.tedxteen.com/talks/rethink-before-you-type-trisha-prabhu?rq=Trisha%2BPrabhu.

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