Cyber Bullying

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Stephanie Baker
Paper 3
English 112
11:00-11:50
Prof. S Callender
Cyber Bullying
Cyber bullying is defined as persistent unwelcome behavior, mostly using unwarranted or invalid criticism, nit-picking, fault-finding, isolation and being singled out intentionally by others by the use of the internet, cell phones, or other technology. This may include spreading rumors about a particular person, or even pretending to be someone else to trick them into revealing personal information on the internet. People who commit these negative acts through these technologies, known as cyber bullies, may even send cruel text messages through cell phones. Posting embarrassing, or personal photos is also another form of cyber bullying.

According to a study, 32% of all teenagers that use the internet say they have been targeted for cyber bullying online (Snell, Englander, 508). This percentage proves that there are many young people that are being harassed through the Internet or through other technologies. Cyber bullying is mostly focused around teenagers, ages 12-17 (Snell, Englander, 508). In addition to that study, another showed that 62% of cyber bullies happen to be female (Shiraldi, 19). Another statistic has expressed that homosexuals are more likely to be cyber bullied, for their sexual or romantic feelings for their same gender.

Unfortunately, cyber bullying has been linked to many suicides as well. Constantly being made fun of and harassed for being different, leads to depression, which is the main cause of suicide. There have been numerous amounts of stories on the news about young people who take their own lives, because of someone that violently threatened them, sent or posted nude or sexual photos of them that weren’t meant to be seen, and people constantly mocked them for their sexuality, religion, race, or other possible factors as well: In a new study conducted by Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. of the Cyberbullying Research Center shows that 20% of a random survey of middle-school students reported that they seriously contemplated attempting suicide (Aisenbe, 1). With the seriousness of cyber bullying on the rise, many schools have made efforts to try to control this trend. Educators let students know that if they are being harassed, then the cyber bullies should be reported to a parent, teacher or higher authority. There are also programs that aim to influence teenagers to not cyber bully. One program for example, is called The Great American No Bull Challenge. “It is a program that empowers students to stop cyber bullying” (Vizcarra, 1). In addition to this program, singer Lady Gaga has launched a foundation to help put an end to bullying, after finding out about a young boy who killed himself, because he was constantly teased over the internet about being homosexual. Cyber bullying has become increasingly problematic; President Barack Obama has even taken an approach to help end this trend. The president happened to hold a Department of Education summit to talk about helping state and local governments to help them abolish bullying (Ditzian,1).

Cyber bullying may occur in a wide range of settings. It may take place when someone is at home, school, school events such as sports games or practices, or many other settings. The trend of cyber bullying basically began when young people obtained these technologies, such as cell phones: Some 75% of 12-17 year-olds now own cell phones, up from 45% in 2004. Those phones have become indispensable tools in teen communication patterns. Fully 72% of all teens or 88% of teen cell phone users are text-messagers. That is a sharp rise from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006. More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters” (Lenhart, 1). Cell phones are not the only form of technology that has increased among teenagers. The use of the internet has grown significantly as well. The more popular social networking sites become, such as Facebook and...
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