What is Cyber Bullying?

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Cyber Bullying
Throughout an individual’s educational career it is often taught that bullying is wrong, begging the question why do so many people still choose to bully their peers? Drawing upon my own personal experiences, I recall being constantly subjected to bullying in high school as a result of my weight. My peers would often refer to me as fat and continuously make jokes about my weight. Luckily for me, I was able to adequately make the changes necessary to cease the bullying, however many individuals are not as lucky. Traditional bullying can be described as frequent physical and verbal abuse against a victim. Unlike traditional bullying, bullying has evolved to the point where bullies have unlimited access to victims via the internet. Internet bullying, otherwise regarded as cyber bullying has become a dominant and major issue for today’s youth. With the constant improvements in technologies such as computers, smartphones, and the arrival of tablets, bullies now have easier access to their victims. The fact that most teenagers own and utilize these electronic devices makes it far easier for teenagers to take part in cyber bullying. Overall, today cyber bullying is becoming more damaging than traditional bullying due to a greater number of ways a person can be cyber bullied; cyber bullying forms an ideal environment for bullies given it can occur anonymously and can occur anywhere. Also, cyber bullying is more damaging than traditional bullying because more people are able to witness cyber bullying due to the public nature of the internet, and due to the fact that cyber bullying is not monitored as closely as traditional bullying in schools. There is a considerable difference in how many ways a person can be bullied on the Internet in comparison to traditional bullying. Traditional bullying usually involves assaulting the victim physically and verbally. Physical bullying includes pushing, punching and kicking the victim, while verbal bullying can consist of name-calling, rumors, and abusive notes. In contrast, cyber bullying occurs in various ways on different Internet websites and through text messages on a cell phones. First, cyber bullying can occur on a social media website such as Facebook. Facebook has approximately “five hundred million active users” (Lee et. all). Facebook is a website where an individual can maintain communication with peers through status updates, pictures, and instant messaging; however Facebook is frequently used negatively. An example of cyber bullying through Facebook is the recent Amanda Todd incident. During this incident, Todd received threatening messages and had inappropriate pictures “’sent to [her classmates]’” (Friscolanti page). Cyber bullying can also occur on video sharing sites like YouTube. Shaheen Shariff outlines a prime example of cyber bullying through YouTube in “Bullying Today”. In “Bullying Today”, Shariff gives the example of Ghislain Reza, who left behind an embarrassing videotape of himself“[dancing] with a light sabre” (Shariff, 343); the video was subsequently leaked on to the Internet for many people to see. Furthermore, cyber bullying can occur through text messages and e-mails where threatening messages, inappropriate pictures and unwanted contact can all take place. Clearly, there is countless ways and avenues which people can utilize to participate in bullying using the internet as opposed to traditional bullying, forming one of the main reasons why cyber bullying is more damaging than traditional bullying. There is a substantial difference between traditional and cyber bullying in terms of anonymity. It is very hard for traditional bullying to be kept anonymous, because both the bully and the victim must be in the same general area for the bullying to occur. The only way bullying can remain anonymous within the confines of traditional bullying is through the usage of notes and rumors. Although traditional bullying has some anonymity, cyber...
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