The harsh reality behind cyberbullying in society


bullies

In the past, we defined a bully as someone who would pick on you at recess in the schoolyard, or trip you in the hallway on the way to class.

Nowadays, society unfortunately has a new aspect of bullying to deal with — a form that can reach children or teenagers 24/7. According to stopcyberbullying.gov, cyberbullying is defined as bullying that takes place using electronic technology.

Today, this technology is held in our hands most of the time and is widely available to the masses.
Dosomething.org reported that 80 percent of teens use their phone regularly, making text messaging the highest form of cyberbullying.

This bullying includes anything from mean text messages to rumors spread through email.
Social networking websites are huge generators of cyberbullying, and this is easy to believe when Internetsafety101.com is saying that 85 percent of teenagers own one form or another of a social networking account.

I think that children have it hard. While some may argue that I am not so far gone from my childhood years I remember the good times and the bad. Children may not have it as hard as adults do, but the stress and difficulties between the two age groups are different.

Growing up you deal with the hardships of peer pressure, making friends, going through puberty (which is arguably the hardest part) and much more. That is why it is so important that we stop cyberbullying.

Dealing with other kids at school can be hard, but imagine a child coming home to even more torment.

During a study conducted by students and faculty at the University of New Hampshire, reports showed that 68 percent of teens agree that cyberbullying is a serious problem.

There are two problems here; one, it is not 100 percent, and two, the majority of that 68 percent is doing little to combat the situation.

The study showed that 11 percent of teens’ cyberbully to show off to their friends, 14 percent do it to just be mean, 28 percent unfortunately do it for entertainment, and 58 percent cyberbully because they feel the victim deserves it.

Social media can be a great outlet for the masses; however, we need to understand that using a Facebook or Twitter account is more than just chatting friends and posting pictures.
In a way, it is a responsibility.

Whatever we post or say is there for everyone to see, and even if you try to delete your account, it can still be searched by someone. The world is so much more accessible to us today than it ever was before, and we do not even have to leave our couch to talk to someone from China.

The bullying online does not even have to be directed toward a victim. Subtweeting has become a huge factor in the Twitter, and it does not take a genius to decipher these messages.

While the bullying message may not be delivered directly to that person, that does not mean he or she will miss it.

The study at New Hampshire also found that 81 percent of youth agree that bullying online is easier than bullying in person.

The thing is, is that when you bully online you are the coward.

According to dosomething.org, cyberbullying teens are two to nine times more likely to commit suicide.

You bully behind your phone or computer screen but that does not make you tough.

We need to stop looking in the other direction, and start looking toward the youth who need our help.

Follow @anarose48 for more Slate opinion.


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