Cyberbullying is defined as posting, sending, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else over digital devices (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). However, cyberbullying is very dangerous and has the ability to cross the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. This, in brief, is the argument that cyberbullying is damaging to teens, adolescents, and even some adults. The following paper shall be an assessment on the issue. Following, I will further explain the the legal consequences, psychological consequences, and physical damage the issue presents. The paper will also touch upon the growth of awareness campaigns against cyberbullying, both local and international. Finally, for a conclusion the paper will aim to address the following questions that surface such as ways to reduce the high statistics, the root of the issue, and where the problem will be in the future. People’s lives have transferred more into the virtual world.
According to research done in January of 2018 from the website We Are Social, Americans spend an average of six hours and thirty minutes on just the internet ( We Are Social LTD, 2018). That is not including the time spent on cell phones, video games, or social media. As a consequence, bullying takes on many social platforms from twitter and video games to text messages and live chats. The lengths that these “bullies” can go to can start with posting or sharing rumors and gossip, to constant humiliation or dehumanizing someone. Teenagers and children are generally viewed upon as the main victims for cyberbullying due to amount of personal information that is shared, which is more than recommended. The lack of knowledge on human rights, but also taking advantage of innocence plays a role into the cyberbullying among the teens and children. For instance, during a study, over half of teens and adolescents were bullied through social media, and about the same number have taken act in the event of cyberbullying. Most witness, but ignore the mean acts that are presented on social media (WordPress, 2018). In today’s society, cyberbullying has been viewed in the aspect of being present as normal, that is a major issue. This beginning in what I believe the twenty first century, where the root of the issue was created due to people’s everyday lives, especially millennials, being shifting to online socialization.
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People started to begin to drift away from the face to face conversations, and picking up the phone to talk. The shift was focused on sharing thoughts or opinions through social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber bullying (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2018). All forms of bullying like cyberbullying, have consequences in any aspect such as physical, psychological, or legal damage. StopBullying.gov reports that youth who are bullied have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. These symptoms can include feelings of being alone and sad, lost in interests once persuaded, higher health related issues, and negative changes in eating patterns or activity with sleep. Some examples of effects in result from being bullied that people struggle with personally and at school are missing, skipping, or even dropping out of school, having a decline in grades, lack of self-esteem, or drug and alcohol usage. These effects are occurring daily, and many do not even realize it.
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