The Impact of Cyberbullying on Youth
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place over the internet or a cell phone message that maliciously threatens, humiliates, tricks, or excludes someone. (National Crime Prevention Council, 2010) Cyberbullying is a widespread problem and its effects can be deadly. It can cause emotional distress to its victims, including depression, which has been attributed to several youth suicides. Cyberbullying is difficult to prevent, but if society takes the necessary action, the frequency of it occurring can be greatly reduced. The effects of cyberbullying go beyond the victim. Friends and family of victims are also impacted when cyber bullying occurs. They may find themselves in difficult situations where they are peer pressured into participating in the bullying, afraid that if they don't play along, they too could become a target. They may also feel powerless to stop it or guilty for not having spoken out against the bullying. School districts and state legislature often become involved when cyberbullying occurs. Because cyberbullying is so widespread, it has become a highly publicized topic. When a case occurs, the victims school district is thoroughly scrutinized to determine if the district did everything it could to prevent the situation from occurring. In some cases, such as in New Jersey during the 214th legislative session, the state legislature introduces bills to protect against acts of cyber bullying (Angelini & Vainieri Huttle, 2010). Cyberbullying is difficult to prevent because it is relatively easy for an offender to remain anonymous while they are doing it. It's not difficult to create a fake email, social networking, or online texting account. While the cyber bully hides behind an anonymous presence, using their computer or mobile phone to commit hurtful acts, they are able to say things they wouldn't normally be brave enough to say in person without fear of consequences (Hinduja, Ph.D. &...
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