What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, texts, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate, in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. Some cyber bullying crosses the line into a criminal behavior. The most common places where cyber bullying occurs are social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, SMS, instant messages , and email. With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online- both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content- creates kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. Cyber bullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved- not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Since cyber bully is from the internet and it stays up for 24 hours a day, it is easier for kids to do it and to get away with it. A negative online reputation, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life, and hard to notice- because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyber bulling taking place, it is harder to recognize. (stopbullying.gov)
Cyber bullies have came up with many ways to harass and abuse their victims. There are a lot of tactics that bullies use to cyber bully others. Most apps have a direct massaging feature that allows anyone to contact you, this is one of the most used tactics. It allows a cyberbully to repeatedly abuse and harass their victims. They use the victim’s flaws or their difference to humiliate and dominate them. Spreading rumors is the beginning to bullying. They use false rumor to gossip about the victim and the point of this is to isolate them from their social circle. Exposure, the attacker gets their hands on personal information about the victim then he spreads it to humiliate and shame them. (heimdalsecurity.com)
Cyber bullying effects everyone, doesn’t matter how old they are of where they are in life, children, teens, and even adults. Cyber bullying can make us feel totally overwhelmed and alone, resulting embarrassment and not knowing what support is available to them. When children is being bullied they feel unable to confide in an adult because they feel ashamed and wonder wether they will be judge. Cyber bullying affects their daily lives and is a constant source of distress and worry. Now days with mobile technology is used for many kinds of purpose and being so freely available, it is an ongoing issue and one that is relentless. If you are worried that your loved one might be a victim of cyber bullying there are somethings you can look out for; low self-esteem, withdraws of spending less time with family and spending more time alone, resisting to let parents or other family members anywhere near their laptop, mobile phone, etc, finding excuses to stay away from school or work, friends disappearing, being excluded from social events, changing themselves to try and fit in, fresh mark on skin that could indicate self-harm and dressing differently with long sleeved cloths in the summer to hide marks, and a change in personality, such as anger, depression, crying, and withdrawn. It has been well documented that cyber bullying has resulted in tragic events including suicide, and self harm. There are still a lot that needs to be done in order to protect vulnerable children and adults from online bullying. [1: Effects of Cyber Bullying. bullying.co.uk. https://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/effects-of-cyberbullying/]
Research demonstrates that rather than being avoided, bullies, embraced their behavior. Bullies can actually be popular among their friend groups. One study did a survey for nearly two thousand students at eleven middle schools in Los Angeles conducted surveys in the seventh and eighth grades. The kids ranked which of their “friends” were the “coolest”, “start fights or push other kids around”, and who “spread nasty rumors about other kids”. This “trend” unfortunately continue and stays with us as we get older. According to David Chango, a student assistance counselor who serves as an anti bullying specialist in the New Jersey public school system said that the old school thinking about bullies was ‘oh, he just feels bad about himself. That’s why they do it to you. He is just jealous. That really indicates that bullies feel great, and you’re just an easy target to help them do the thing they love’. This insight is supported by research that one study of 307 middle school students found that over time, male bullies had no loss of self esteem while female bullies actually say an increase in self esteem. [2: Friedman, Michael. Knowing Why Bullies Bully is Key to Stopping the Trend. psychologytoday.com. May 20, 2014. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brick-brick/201405/knowing-why-bullies-bully-is-key-stopping-the-trend]
Aside from being the coolest person in their peers, bullies also hold a negative view of them selves, so that they pick on others just to feel good about them selves and knowing that someone better than them is not anymore. “While bullies may well be very sensitive about any differences or any failings that they have, they may also be setting themselves up so that that they victimize those who have failings that are more challenged in society, that are perhaps perceived to be more problematic, such as being gay, being bad at sports, and not being good at school work,” Rivers told LiveScience. He is also doing a surveys from the victim, which he hopes that the future could be better picture for this behavior. This is something that teachers and school staffs need to pay attention to. If a student is being bullied because their bad at something, make it optional, make school safer. [3: Rettner, Rachel. Bullies on Bullying: Why We Do It. live science.com. Aug 10, 2010. https://www.livescience.com/11163-bullies-bullying.html ]
‘I slit my wrist because I was cyber bullied’. Back in 2011 bbc.com covered a story about how a 14 year old Carney Bonner, who lives in the United Kingdom got cyber bullied. He read this Facebook message he was so distressed that he began to self harm, “You should go and kill yourself because you don’t mean anything to anyone.” This cyber bullying continued for a year. He said “things would have gotten worse if one of my friends hadn’t seen my wrists.” Carney started receiving abusive messages on Facebook by a bully who he believes created a fake account under a fake name. This started with messages such as “You’re nothing” and “No one cares about you”. Carney described himself as loud and always outgoing.
He thought all of this was just a joke, “As a teenager you just shrug it off your shoulders and carry on,” he said. But then messages became more abusive. It started to get into his head and thats when everything went downhill. When he read the message stating that he should kill himself, he finally broke. “I started to cut my wrists. It got to the point where it was from my wrists up to most of my arm.” One of his friends saw his wrist injuries and took him to the school counsellor and helped him overcome the bullying. Carney said that it was like learning to walk again and he had to work towards being himself again. He eventually found out who had been bullying him and confronted him. That person turned out to be someone He had regarded as a friend. Carney has been qualified as a cyber mentor for charity Beatbullying and helps other victims of cyber bullying. And Carney hoped the police pilot scheme will bring down the amount of online bullying. (bbc.com)
Basically anyone can get bullied by anyone, a childhood friend, a family member, a best friend, an enemy, etc. They’re just trying to make themselves feel better about one itself and they do that by bringing everyone down who they think is better than them. They are jealous about what you can do and they just don’t want others to see their flaws and the fear of you being better than them in their eyes. In a way the victims are much stronger than the bully because both are going through the same things, school, home work but what different is that the victim gets something they or anyone deserves. So the bullies are putting more weight and pressure on them.
The statics of cyberbullying is actually the opposite of how we want them. 37% of people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. Since 95% of teens in the US are online, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying and only 23% of students have reported that the’ve done something cruel to others and 27% reported that they’ve experienced the same from someone else. According to a study, girls are more likely to be both the victim and perpetrators of cyber bullying and 15% of teen girls have been targeted of at least four different kinds of abusive behaviors. Parents usually wants to monitor our social media and they have a good reason. Instagram is the social media site where most young people report experiencing cyberbullying. And only 1 out of 10 have reported to an adult. (dosomething.org)
Most kids explained that being bullied hurts us mentally and one of them said that our hearts is like a glass and when someone bullied you it just shatters. From another kids experience, another kid named him a bully so he acted like one just to make them stop. Then he realized that it wasn’t right, even though it was just to prove a point, so he stoped. If kids realize these things why can’t older people see it? Stop picking on others and start to stand up for each other and spread positivity not negative things. Adults know most of bullying takes place at school, so why cant the teachers monitor them and look at their surroundings, because now not all people would listen. Be the person to stop the bullying.[4: What Does Getting Bullied Feel Like? operation respect.org. https://operationrespect.org/bullyingvideo/]
Even though anyone could get bullied, there are ways to help decrease of it continuing. If you are being bullied, don’t respond to the bully because its just like your bullying them. Save the evidence that they are bullying you, so you can show an adult or even a friend that you truly trust. If it is already bad and you cannot do anything else, reach out for help, parents, teachers, family member, anyone that you trust. Block the person’s account so you don’t get anything from them. And most importantly help others who are being bullied, refrain it from getting spread. Doesn’t matter how much pain it causes, kids are unwilling to tell parents or teachers about bullying because they feel a sense of shame from being victimized. Bullies are good at hiding their behavior from adults, so if a child is being bullied it may not be obvious to a parent or teacher.[5: Tips to Help Stop Cyberbullying. connectsafely.com. May 7, 2018. https://www.connectsafely.org/tips-to-help-stop-cyberbullying/] [6: Bullying and Cyberbullying. helpguide.org. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/bullying-and-cyberbullying.htm]
In conclusion, people can get bullied everywhere by anyone. Doesn’t matter where you’re from, how old you are, and what you’re doing. Because of cyber bullying, a lot of teens and adults tend to do self harm and it may or may not lead to death. A lot of people are afraid to take a stand from bullying because they are scared to get bullied themselves. Try to stand up for ourselves and take a stand from bullying.
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