Technology will be the Death of Us
English 112-05, Fall Semester
December 6, 2012
Cyber Bullying: Technology will be the Death of Us
Everybody remembers not too long ago when the stereotypical “bully” was portrayed as a big scary boy who pestered other boys for their lunch money. Bullying is like a disease, and it has developed a strange mutation. This mutation allows anybody to fall victim not only to bullying, but the temptation of becoming THE bully. This strain is called cyber bullying and is defined as the act of threatening, harassing, or intimidating somebody via electronic sources such as Facebook, Twitter, or any social media website. It is far more dangerous as well. Studies show that “both perpetrators and victims are at the highest risk for suicidal ideation and behavior” (Klomek). Not only are the victims of cyber bullying at a higher risk, but even the bully himself. As a matter of fact, “Those who cyber bully most frequently report the highest levels of social anxiety” (Kowalski). Cyber bullying has escalated so quickly due to the fact that the means of bullying is so easily accessible. The new generations are becoming increasingly savvy with technology and much too often does the temptation of speaking out with the knowledge that one can stay anonymous is too strong. Cyber bullying is worse than physical bullying. Tormenting somebody via technology is something that is truly cowardly. The mental breakdown and psychological torture takes so much longer to
heal than any bruise or cut. This direct assault on another human being’s humanity and self confidence is truly a crime that needs to be confronted on a national scale. The truth is that cyber bullying usually does not happen spontaneously. It is important to trace a problem to its source. Typically certain people are provoked and then abuse technology to get their revenge. Whether it is through an anonymous chat box or a fake facebook profile, the ability to keep one’s identity a secret is wildly attractive in the eyes of a revenge seeking teen. Since adolescents are not fully matured, their decision-making skills are not exactly ideal. Their immaturity accounts for the reason cyber bullying is such a problem. If a friend hurts a teen’s feelings, they might think it would be a perfectly reasonable punishment to spread a hurtful rumor via the Internet. The accessibility that teens have to such damage-inflicting mediums is terrifying. Some of the facts about cyber bullying are certainly eye opening. Cyber bullying has always flooded the news with horrifying stories about suicides due to cyber-bullying, but it was not until I read some statistics that I fully understood the gravity of the problem. Here are some that are found to be most disconcerting:
“-Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. One in four has had it happen more than once. –One in three teens has experienced cyber-threats online. -Nine out of ten middle school students have had their feelings hurt online. About 75% have visited a website bashing another student.
-Four out of ten middle school students have had their password(s) stolen and changed by a bully who then locked them out of their own account or sent communications posing as them. -The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyber bullying are similar to real-life bullying outcomes. -Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying. -Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims of cyber bullying. -About 58% of kids admit someone has been mean or said hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten said it has happened more than once. -90% of victims will not inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. -Cyber bullying has increased in recent years. In a national survey of...
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