A New Social Era

The face behind the screen is too often ignored

A New Social Era

  Bullying in general is a big deal, but cyberbullying is an even bigger deal because it is covert. We might not realize it, but bullying happens all around us. I think the reason why most people don’t realize that cyberbullying is all around us is because we choose to ignore it. We all see it on social media, but why don’t we do something about it?

  My opinion is that we don’t want to get involved in something that “isn’t our problem,” but I would argue that it is our problem. It’s everybody’s problem. If you think about it, cyberbullying affects everybody. Even if you aren’t getting cyberbullied, somebody close to you is or has been before.

     According to “What is Cyberbullying” on stopbullying.gov, “Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.”   

  In my opinion, teens think it’s funny to mess with people and post bad things about them on the internet, but the people who are being targeted usually take it seriously. People feel the need to target people and shut them down, sometimes for no rhyme or reason, either. Other times, people will bully somebody over the internet because they are jealous or feel bad about themselves, so bringing somebody else down makes them feel better.

 Eighty-two students out of the 121 surveyed at WHS agreed that cyberbullying was easier to get away with than bullying in person.   Bullying can take place on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yik Yak, email, messenger, and more. If you think about it there are a lot of places cyberbullying can, and will take place. I think bullies find it easier to bully online because there is no face-to-face factor. Bullies can say anything they want and don’t have to worry about the reaction that the target will take.

  A survey done in 2013 from the Cyberbullying Research Center, asked 400 students from age 11-14 questions about themselves and cyberbullying. The survey showed that:

– 97.5 percent  have been online in the previous 30 days

– 63 percent have a cell phone

– 45 percent are on Facebook

– 42 percent are on Instagram

– 11.5 percent have been the target of cyberbullying in the previous 30 days (boys: 6.8 percent; girls: 16.0 percent)

– 3.9 percent have cyberbullied others in the previous 30 days (boys: 0.6 percent; girls: 6.9 percent)

  When somebody is being bullied, it is very common to go into a stage of depression and sadness. The thing that teens and young adults need the most when being bullied is somebody to talk to. They might not want to talk about it, but letting them know that you are there for them will help them a lot.  

  Cyber Bullying hurts people. There is a face behind the screen, so think before you type. Stop cyberbullying.