What is Cyberbullying?

Human all around the world are living in the 21st century and there is one thing most of us cannot live without is our phone. The number of internet uses and social networking have increased unbelievably. From that major problem of the society which people let the use of social networking increases, it creates many more concerns to the society.

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Most people use social networks for the sake of enriching their lives, to connect to other people. But there are also people that use social networks for other purposes. For example, they use social network to slander or hurt others’ feeling. One of the concerns of the population is cyberbullying because there are a lot of people, especially teenagers have chosen to end their life in result of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a form of harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, 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. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.

Victim of cyberbullying is commonly high-school students because they are most likely to use social media regularly such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter and these are places where common cyberbullying occurs. According to The Cyberbullying Research Center, “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.” From this fact, we can see that the problem of bullying is how easy electronic communication is accessible to teens. Teens are using cell phones so much and also at an early age therefore the cyberbullying are targeting more of teens. Yet, it is also easy for cyberbullying to occurs since most households are having computer. With the increase in internet use, adolescents are able to access text messages easier and also being bullied online easier at any time of the day. When adolescents are doing the bully, it is easy to cross the line and say harassment and horrible things to others because they are online. Bullies are also try to show the online world that they are powerful and they can make others scared of them.

Cyberbullying has many negative impacts, just like face-to-face bully. Those who are bullies do not think that they are putting their friends, or other people at risk, sometimes with deadly consequences. They bully others because they might think it is fun to make others anxious, and scared. However, we should look a little deeper. Some of the cyberbullies might have been bullied themselves. They experienced the bully, they feel scared or anxious, they want to get out of their own bully so they go bully someone else to feel that someone else is with them. Both male and female teens who cyberbully scored a lower affective empathy score than victims of cyberbullying, teens who both cyberbullied and were victims of cyberbullying, and those who were not involved in cyberbullying at all (Pettalia, Levin & Dickinson, 2013). Cyberbullying can lead to anxiety, depression, and one of the most serious consequences is suicide. People who do cyberbullying think it is funny, it is okay to do that to people but in reality it is absolute not. More than 70 percent of heavy Internet users ages 12 through 17 — mostly girls — said they had experienced at least one incident of online intimidation via e-mail, cell phones, chat rooms and other electronic media in the previous year, according to a national survey posted on a teen Web site in 2005 by Jaana Juvonen (Billitteri, T. J. (2008, May 2).

The problem here is why is it mostly girls? Often, girl adolescent go online and open a social network account is to find friends, or to just have someone to talk to. Knowing that, bullies usually find girl to talk. At first, they build trust in that girl but then turn out to be bullies. According to a family member of Megan Meier, who is 13-years-old “She thinks the messages are from a boy she met online, but the messages are a hoax.”(Footnote) She hangs herself after receiving a cruel message from a social networking site called MySpace. Because of his bully, it costs a live of a young girl which her life and dream were still a long way away. At the same time, there is a mere fact that cyberbullying is what happens online or an electronic device. Therefore, bullies are hidden under their true self. The person that being bullied does not even know who are bullying them, allowing the bully to not feel guilty, the identity of them is anonymous and they think it will never be known. Consequently, it may even cause more bullying. Cyberbullying on social media could simply be a problem of “fat-shaming” where users or bullies in other word, post nasty comments about one’s weight or appearance when one posts a picture of themselves on Facebook. Bullying online could go to even more aggressive in forms of bullying.

To illustrate, one scenario where we can say it is an insidious form of cyberbullying when it involves in taking private photos. Those kind of private photos that one would send to their boyfriend or girlfriend online, then they made them public. Imagine having a nearly naked picture of yourself that someone else put on public, it would be so embarrassed to even think of. This is when people, especially teens, have suicidal thoughts. Cyberbullying has affect teens in many more ways and creates many more impacts on the life of those who have been bullied. The most important thing to a teen is school. Yet, when students are going through cyberbullying by their friends, they don’t feel safe and respected going to school. When they are the victim, they don’t feel safe anywhere, school or even home rather. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.), 160,000 students per day stay home from school because they feel unsafe to go because of bullying. Simultaneously, this happened to connect to the drop out rate of students. The feeling of not wanting to go to school because they don’t feel safe increases the truancy issues in teens. There is a more likely chance that they will want to drop out of school. While the main problem being teens are doing the bullying, we also should look at the communication between teens who is being bullied and their family or trusted adult.

Home is where everyone should feel safe and parents are the one they can always trust and share whatever they are going through. Yet, teens who are going through bullying experiences tend to not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs. To speak, they don’t report it to anyone. According to Bullying Statistics (n.d.) only 1 in 10 adolescents who have been victimized by cyberbullying report to a parent or trusted adult when they have been cyberbullied. Adolescents who are bystanders to cyberbullying on social media often don’t report what is going on to an adult either. Teens are not feeling comfortable with telling their parents and thus never getting help with the issue and it continues to occur. This show that parents and children don’t have enough conversation for them to feel close and willing to share their private. The result in suicide of teens is also because parents are not giving enough care to their children. Plus, there are also statistics show that adolescents don’t even report to other adults even when they are just a bystander. In conclusion, cyberbullying can happen anywhere.

Cyberbullying is a huge aspect of problem of the society among teens and it is harming them, and it can lead to depression, anxiety or even suicide. The number of teens that are having suicidal thoughts are increasing dramatically due to the cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is more likely to occurs adolescents because there are a huge portion of them are using the Internet regularly. With technology ever changing, one might not doubt that cyberbullying is an issue that will only get worse and worsen. Actions need to be taken by adults, parents, or government to help make this issue in a better way.

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