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A Report on Teenage Cyber Bullying In Singapore

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1Purpose
The purpose of the report is to investigate the reasons behind the rise in cyber bullying cases in Singapore among teenagers. The report will also recommend measures to improve the situation.

1.2Background
Cyber bullying occurs when a teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or targeted by another teen or group using the Internet, mobile phones, or other types of digital technology. It has to be a teen on both sides. Bullying is not new but thanks to the advancement in technology, teens are now being bullied at home. When bullying comes home via the Internet it can leave victims feeling helpless and overwhelmed (NJDOE, http://www.starw.org/b2b/cyberbullyingdefinition.htm). T

This report is commission by Miss Lynette Wan, Lecturer, on 30 May 2011.

1.3Methods of Investigation
Questionnaires were issued to 30 teenagers from Temasek Polytechnic on 8 July 2011. Two teenagers who were victims of cyber bullying were also interviewed to get more in depth views. Reference was also made to books, online sources and newspapers articles.

1.4Scope
This report looks into the profile of the bully, reasons causing cyber bullying and the consequences of cyber bullying. 2. FINDINGS

2.1Respondents Profile
A total of 30 respondents were surveyed. Of the 30 respondents, 40% were male teenagers while the rest were female teenagers. All of the respondents are aged 16 to 19 years old. Year 1 students made up 43% of the respondents while Year 2 and Year 3 students made up 33% and 24% respectively. This can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Respondent’s Profile
The respondents’ profile shows a near equal distribution of both male and female teenagers. Cyber bullying is becoming more prevalent because of teens' high usage of Internet-capable devices (Tyra, 2011). This suggests that teenagers are more than capable enough to access the devices that are the root of the problem of which is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying refers to any harassment that occurs via the internet, cell phones or other devices (Anonymous, 2008). The survey shows that 70% of the respondents own a desktop, 90% own a mobile phone, 83% owns a notebook/laptop and 7% owns a PDA. Taking this into consideration, most of the respondents have easy access to cyber bullying related devices.

2.2Reasons
2.2.1Provocation
When asked what would provoke the respondents to resort to cyber bullying, majority of the respondents indicated “Anger” (73%). Other reasons included “Boredom” (12%), “Jealousy” (6%), “Inferiority” (5%) and “Peer Pressure” (4%). This can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Factors which would provoke individuals to commit the act of cyber bullying

Correspondingly, 40% of the respondents indicated that they would “retaliate” if they were to continuously receive negative comments from the same individual/group. Two teenagers, who admitted to be involved in cyber bullying acts previously, when interviewed, stated that they were angered by a person’s action and decided to retaliate by posting nasty comments on the person’s personal blog as well as on her social network. After doing it once, they found themselves repeatedly abusing the person through cyberspace as they could not find a reason to stop as the victim did not retaliate. When asked for the reasons for repeated harassment, the interviewees stated they were really unhappy and were not able to control their anger.

Negative emotions, such as anger, jealousy and depression, can affect our behaviour negatively. According to an article “Stop Cyber Bullying” (2011), when it comes to cyber bullying, they are often motivated by anger, revenge or frustration. Hence, negative emotions would provoke a person to commit an act that he would not have usually done such as cyber bullying.

2.2.2 Lack of Parental Concern
Majority of the respondents, (53%), indicated that the...
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