This research paper will provide the definition for cyberbullying as well as describe several case studies that reflect the results of being victimized. These studies are represented by research conducted by accredited sources. Within this research paper, we will talk about the life of four young adolescents who were taunted, bullied, humiliated, and harassed via social media and the decisions they made. This research paper discusses that cyberbullying is a problem beyond childhood and adolescence and will provide possible solutions taking into account that although there are traditional forms of bullying, cyberbullying is an issue that needs to be addressed. Keywords: cyberbullying, traditional bullying, suicide, education, children, victims of cyberbullying, cyberbullying and adults
Cyberbullying: An Issue Beyond Adolescence
It is Oct 16, 2006 in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri and almost dinner time at the Meier residence. Mrs. Meier knows her 13 year old daughter, Megan, has had a trying day and probably needs some time alone in her room. She knows that Megan received an incredible amount of hateful and tormenting messages including comments stating that she is not a good friend; that she likes to talk about others behind their back; that nobody likes her; and that she should just kill herself via her MySpace. Only it is too quiet, not normal for Megan to be so quiet; perhaps she should go check on her daughter. Walking into Megan’s room she discovers that her daughter does not seem to be there but the closet door is open and catches her attention. Curious, Mrs. Tina Meier looks into the closet and finally finds Megan. The site is so horrific, no words can be formulated; she can only scream for help, call for her husband, Megan’s father, Mr. Meier, and pray they have reached their daughter before it is too late. Megan Meier attempted suicide by hanging herself in her closet. She passed away at the hospital a day later. The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents. Cyberbullying can be defined as "someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices" (“Cyberbullying Research Center”, 2012). Cyberbullying is a growing issue that reaches and extends into adulthood; it’s a problem that everyone needs to address in order to create awareness because it is here to stay and will affect everyone’s life in one way or another.
Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, is an American Osteopathic Association board-certified family physician and director of Family Medicine at Sinai Hospital, Internal Medicine Division, in Baltimore. She explained that “Kids that are bullied are likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, unhappiness, and poor sleep” she further states that “making the issue worse is the fact that such negative effects of bullying often go unnoticed, as many victims feel the need to conceal the fact that they are being bullied because they are embarrassed or afraid of further bullying. More often than not victims respond passively to bullying. They tend to act anxious and appear less confident. They may become quieter in class and, as a result, the bullying can become a hindrance on their academic success. Therefore, bullying is a problem that, if left unattended, can become a significant hurdle in a child’s development” (Cyber-Bullying and its Effect on our Youth, (n.d.)). As Dr. Caudle explained, the hurdle created by cyberbullying is a hindrance in a child’s development. This can cause problems during childhood that transgress into adulthood. We will discuss adults’ impact and influence later on. My focus is childhood and adolescence because if the problem is addressed at an early age, the consequences may be less drastic...