Cyber Bullying

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Cyber Bullying is worse than Physical Bullying
Many people believe that bullying is just a phase that everyone goes through in life. Before the internet, cell phones, and other modern day technology came around, bullying was just a comment made by someone in the hallway, a prank towards someone, or even a big punch in the face. Now with Facebook, MySpace, emails, and cell phones, bullying has taken an even bigger toll and threat to people’s lives. Although cyber bullying is less physical than traditional forms of bullying, it can have more devastating and longer-lasting effects on a person and their feelings.

In the year 2000 a University of New Hampshire study found that one out of every 17, or six percent of kids in the United States, had been threatened or harassed online. But in March of 2006, statistics showed that 75 to 80 percent of 12 to 14 year olds had been cyber bullied (Meech). It is clear that cyber bullying is on the rise and is becoming more and more of a problem each day. Both male and females are victims of cyber bullying, but studies have shown that women are more likely to use cyber bullying over men. Today’s youth and the population between 16-25 year olds have grown up with technology. It has become a part of their everyday lives. The fact that most adolescents (83%) connect to the Internet from home indicates that online bullying can be an invasive phenomenon that can hound a person even when not at or around school (Technology). Taking technology away from someone just to protect them from cyber bullying would not help. People have relied on technology to such an extent that it would start to isolate them within their family and friends. It is not the technology that is causing problems; it’s the people who are using it in negative ways. Almost 30% of the adolescent respondents reported that they had been victims of online bullying (Technology). Many people have experienced being disrespected and called names, threatened, picked on, or made fun of or having had rumors spread by others. Being ignored by another person may simply reflect obnoxious behavior that warranted the outcome rather than actual and willful aggression. Along similar lines, although some of this harassment may be characterized as minor, more than 20% reported being threatened by others. Anger and frustration was a commonly reported emotional response to the harassment. It is very difficult to control and monitor cyber bullying. The main difference between cyber bullying and traditional bullying is the option to bully without a face-to-face conversation. The best strategy for promoting ethical behavior online may be proactive (Simmons). Many offices and schools around the country have started using sign in and out sheets that a person must sign to use a computer. That way, if there is an investigation at that particular place, they could have an idea of who is involved. Many people become fascinated by the wrong feeling of being anonymous and they end up saying things they would never have said in person. Unfortunately, identifying someone who is cyber bullying is not as easy as identifying the traditional bully who bullies in person no matter what type of system one uses.

Cyber bullying can have more of an impact on a person than with traditional bullying. Pictures, videos, cell phones, and the internet can highly increase the speed in which the bully's messages can spread to a number of people. Messages that are used for a bully to ruin the reputation of a victim can be far more damaging than face-to-face disputes. Things like personal pictures, videos, texts, emails, and other electronic items can have a greater impact of a person’s life than a punch to the face. Most of the time, the ones who are behind the screen bullying are the ones who are way too afraid to confront their victim in person. Electronic devices allow people to contact others at any time almost anywhere. The fact that most people connect to the Internet...
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