Final Research Paper
Cyberbullying Effects and Meaning
The internet became a useful tool for people to connect with others around the world. People can share publicly their thoughts, information, images, videos, etc through this media. As this media started a new way to bully others did too. Cyberbullying became a way to bully others anonymously through a public media. This started during the mid 90’s when young people started using this tool as a tool to mock others publicly. Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that can be done by bullies to hurt their victims without having to face severe consequences. This bullying is done through cybermedia where anyone can see it. The bully in question cannot be easily identified when the act is done. Here the victim is not physically hurt; however, the victim can be emotionally hurt. Being in emotional pain is more severe than physical because it can leave even more severe psychological traumas to the victim than traditional bullying (Arsenau). The reason this has become a concern for many is that more than half of the teenagers today have suffered from some type of cyberbullying around the world. This cannot be stopped easily due to private policies that some web pages have to protect their users. In many cases users do not give their real name, preferring to use a nickname to maintain it anonymously. In this way it is easier for bullies to harass their victims without thinking of the consequences (Arsenau). Here are some examples of cyberbullying: sending messages through email, text, etc threatening someone. Posting harmful comments about someone through social network sites; for example Facebook. Getting in someone else’s account on a social network or email and sending cruel or embarrassing messages as that person. Pretending to be a friend or former friend to obtain information and forwarding that information to others and/or sharing it for everyone to see online. Taking an unauthorized picture of someone to share it with others online. These all are types of cyberbullying which are commonly occurring every day. “Another major issue we are beginning to see a lot of is Cyberbullying.” (Parents). Many victims, bullies, researchers, parents and others see cyberbullying as way of torture. Bullies enjoy seeing their victims suffer and as they go on it becomes worse. During traditional bullying in schools there are differences between genders. Male are more aggressive and seek to hurt their victim physically. For example, hitting someone in the face. On the other hand females tend to publicly humiliate their victims or socially exclude them. For example; Spreading rumors about someone. However, in cyberbullying no differences have being found between genders according to the researcher on the topic Ikuko Aoyama, a doctoral candidate at Baylor University (Laster). In the United States of America cyberbullying became significant to the justice system’s eyes when Megan Meier a thirteen year old girl committed suicide because of it. Megan Meier was weeks before her 14th birthday when she killed herself. After Lori Drew cyberbullied Megan through MySpace using a fake account called Josh Evans. Megan suffered from ADD and depression and was a former friend of Lori Drew’s daughter (Pokin). After gaining personal information from Megan, Lori Drew used the account to bully Megan on cyberspace. "Everybody in O'Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you" (Pokin). This was the last message Megan received after several users have bullied her. Megan was found by her mother hanging up in Megan’s closet and died the next day (Pokin). The account of Josh Evans was created by Lori Drew an adult which was neighbor of the Meier’s to tease Megan. The reason is that Megan and Lori’s daughter had a fight and called off their friendship where Lori’s daughter came out hurt. In revenge Lori created...
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