Cyberbullying is the use of communication tools like social networking or electronic technology such as mobile phones to threaten, harass or intimidate a person especially teens. Children who have an early exposure to these technologies mostly practice cyberbullying. Cyber bullying takes different forms including mean text messages, embarrassing videos, pictures, fake profiles, websites and rumors posted on social sites or sent by email. It has to be prompted by a minor to another minor or just involves teens on both sides. Once adults are implicated, we refer to it as cyber stalking or harassment (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008).
The techniques used here are drawn down by a child`s thoughts and access to technology. It is shocking to find that a cyber bully, in the end, becomes the next victim. The lack of direct face communication makes it much easier for children to cross from little jokes to bullying since the cyber bully can completely hide their identity. Since the victims cannot trace the source of the attack, it leaves them helpless. The reason being that before the bully can be discovered, the information could have traveled to a broad audience. Anonymity has promoted power balance giving anybody an opportunity to be a bully. The result is that an endless cycle of bullying will be formed which in the end hurts all the victims involved.
The reason as to why cyber bullying should be stopped is that it builds fear in the hearts of the victims and shuts them from enjoying life. Cyber bullying is an issue of concern. The psychological torture inflicted upon a child may start as a minor issue, but with time, it grows to uncontrollable levels. Some teens have gone as far as taking their lives due to extreme embarrassment from this form of bullying. They begin to feel pain and suppose that the only way to escape their tormentors is by committing suicide.
Other than physical damage, cyberbullying can cause psychological torture. The victims find it hard to stand up for themselves, whether that is from lack of hope or fear. Most children do not have that ability or courage to withstand humiliation since they are not fully developed. It makes them feel angry and vengeful. Other children have gone as far as killing their friends or other teens once they are embarrassed since they cannot control themselves. These kids may feel dissatisfied with who they are since the attackers usually target where they are most vulnerable. The victims begin to doubt their value or worth, and in the long run, they will respond to such feelings by harming themselves. Moreover, the victims may feel ill which arises from the stress of bullying. It may interfere with their sleeping pattern and may often experience physical ailments, stomach aches, and headaches. Other teens may feel isolated or alone when they are bullied, and this may interfere with their education performance. Cyberbullying may grow to a level of a minor charge which is punishable by incarceration in a local jail or a fine. In case the child is of a small age, it may result in a charge of breaking a juvenile law.
To stop cyberbullying, we have to give our children hope and the ability to believe in who they are and own up to faults without being tormented. People need to talk to teenagers and advise them appropriately on the issue of social media. Working to stop this vice will make the teens to live the life they desire full of happiness. They should get to learn that a single mistake should not be a reason to consume them. Working against cyber bullying can help remind the kids that they are important and mean a lot to someone, that they can be anything and they can do anything. Such a positive recommendations will boost a childs morale and help reduce trauma (Bector et al., 2012).
Considering the effects as discussed, we can see that the consequences of bullying are hard for teens to get over. The effect is not only experienced when one is online but also when offline since it remains forever in the kid`s psyche. Everyone should take responsibility and help reduce the spread of bullying through these effective methods.
First, it is advisable that we report any incidence of cyberbullying, however small it may be, and take appropriate actions to stop it. Parents have the responsibility of going as far as installing monitoring softwares on their childrens computer. This will enable them to get to the pattern that leads to the incident of bullying, and this piece of information will be valuable when reporting to the authorities. Parents should also be involved in what their children are doing. Good parenting practices and having a zero tolerance policy against cyberbullying will help protect our children. When they explain to their kids, that this is a form of harassment, they will not bully others and will come to report any time they are bullied. Victims should discover the source and report to the authorities or administrators over the network. The issue will then be followed up since the incident occurred online. On identifying the bully, the administrator should inform the police about the case. (Hoff & Mitchell, 2009).
Bector, P., & Dr. S.k. Dubey Dr. S.k. Dubey. (2012). The Harmful Effects of Cyberbullying on Teenagers: A common study. Global Journal For Research Analysis, 3(5), 1-3. doi:10.15373/22778160/may2014/78
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2008). Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Offending and Victimization. Deviant Behavior, 29(2), 129-156.
Hoff, D. L., & Mitchell, S. N. (2009). Cyberbullying: Causes, Effects, and Remedies. Journal of Educational Administration, 47(5), 652-665.
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