SocialMedia and Cyber Bullying
Bullyingis one of the controversial issues in the modern society. It iscommon among children and young people. Victims of bullying willalways portray low self-esteem, confidence, and will dread appearingin public or even going to school. In extreme circumstances, suicidalideation develops among the affected people. When it gets out ofhand, the bullies can even murder the victims. It is not onlycomplicated to the parents but also to the teachers on how to curbthis vice. The situation is even worse in this technological era.Young people are exposed to hate and negativity on the mediaplatforms. The advancements in technology have been attributed to thedrastic increase of bullying incidences. The higher risk of the youthbeing affected is due to their immoderate use of the social mediaplatforms (Knopf, 2015). It is undisputable that cyber bullying isthe leading cause of mental complications, stress, anxiety, andunhappiness and there is no justification for this vice to continuetaking root in the contemporary society.
Itis not a new concept in humanity. In fact, most people assert thatbullying was there even before the advent of some of the social mediaplatforms and it does not only rely on social media. Unfortunately,the perpetrators always view the victims as inferior individuals whocannot rise to seek justice. The same case happens in cyber-bullying.They utilize the technological advances in the communication field totorment and threaten their victims. The vice has been growing daily.Reports that were collected in the year 2008 with a body mandated tocheck in media security affirmed that the issue was, in fact, thebiggest issue among the young generation (Sandhu and Kaur, 2016).Online messaging platforms are at the disposal of the youngindividuals making it easier for the bullies to access them and goaway without being traced. Facebook, Twitter, and other networksprovide an ample platform for the bullies to cause harm in a discreetway to others. They feel secure when they are hidden behind theirgadgets.
Ideally,most of the young individuals today are addicted to social media.Checking on social media networks has become a routine just liketaking breakfast. They are oblivious of the detrimental consequencesthey are subjecting themselves not only on security matters butmissing out on reality (Yu, & Chao, 2016). Even though mostpeople think that being addicted to social media is a myth, it ispossible. Young people are ever worried about missing out on somematters, so they keep checking on their cell phones now and then.Regardless of the place, it is common to see young people glued totheir mobile phones. Kids are not aware of important issues. The factthat they are isolated from the reality, they are physically inactiveand restless makes them suitable targets for the bullies (Cassidy,Jackson, and Brown, 2014). Even though the web is the most source ofinformation, the perpetrators use it to provide false information tothe youth.
Thereis the need for individuals to be alert and take appropriate measuressince the consequences of cyberbullying are more detrimental thatthose of the ordinary harassing. One should be keen to note thesigns of bullying. Since electronic communication is the only viablemedium here, one can clearly tell questionable behavior (Ng Chong,Kanagasundram, Yee, Tan Loong, & TeohKar, 2016). One can becontacted through verbal statements that are humiliating, likesobriquets to force the victim to disclose personal information. Pictures that humiliate and threaten the target can also be used. Itis also necessary for one to note public bullying signs. Thesymptoms include the use of disparaging texts, rumors and gossips andtransmission of images that aim at humiliating a person’s dignity. Individuals should also try to detect imposture faking the name ofthe victims and their profiles or hacking the accounts of others andsending messages that are mean to humiliate victims.
Measuresshould immediately follow identification. Affected parties should tryto find out why they are being bullied. It is advisable for one tostop responding to the hooligan’s texts immediately. The primarygoal of the hooligans is to provoke someone. Therefore, answeringthem makes them victors (Sandhu and Kaur, 2016). Threatening themthat you have the ability to find them and subject them to punishmentwill make the matter worse. One should also store the proofs bywriting down the date and time they received the messages, and move astep further to block the person. Besides one should limit the amountof personal information that can be accessed by the strangers beforereporting the issue.
Ironically,cyberbullying is at times harmless fun. Nevertheless, in most cases,it turns out to be a serious matter when not controlled. The viceutilizes the media to humiliate and threaten children and the youth.The fact the young people are addicted to the social media platformsmake them even more vulnerable than the elders. Cyberbullying leavesthem stressed, anxious and in extreme cases to develop suicidalideation. Measures like reading the signs, blocking the offenders andreporting them to the authorities, can significantly help in dealingwith this controversial issue in media today.
Cassidy,W., Jackson, M., & Brown, K. N. (2014). Sticks and Stones CanBreak My Bones, But How Can Pixels Hurt Me? Students` Experienceswith Cyber-Bullying. SchoolPsychology International,30(4),383-402.
Knopf,A. (2015). Cyberbullying linked to mental health problems in teensprotective factor seen in family dinners. BrownUniversity Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter,31(1),4-5.
NgChong, G., Kanagasundram, S., Yee Hway, A., Tan Loong, H., &TeohKar,M. (2016). Cyber bullying – a new social menace. ASEANJournal of Psychiatry,17(1),104-115.
Sandhu,D, & Kaur, S. (2016). Reducing Cyber-bullying and ProblemBehaviors among Students through Parental Group Therapy.Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research,31(2),383-401.
Yu,T., & Chao, C. (2016). Internet Misconduct Impact AdolescentMental Health in Taiwan: The Moderating Roles of Internet Addiction.InternationalJournal of Mental Health & Addiction,14(6),921-936.