cyberbullying more harmful than traditional bullying

Topics: Bullying, Abuse, Victim Pages: 5 (1080 words) Published: March 4, 2015


Cyber bullying is more harmful than Traditional bullying
An Explanatory Paper
For English 10

Gaston, Therese Marie Marguerette M.
E12
8 October 2014
Mrs. A.M. S. Oblepias
Bullying has always been a common and severe problem amongst adolescents throughout the years. With today’s technology, traditional bullies have been able to add a new element in bullying, the Internet. “Cyber bullying adds an entirely new painful dimension to making fun of each other. A Cyber bully is an individual who distributes insults and harsh words over the Internet or any medium of technology.” (Feldman) Adolescents are often involved in cyber bullying because they are going through a transitional period in life and are especially vulnerable to criticism and pressure. Statistics show that nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online, 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once (Graham 2014). 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person (Connolly 2014). By definition, the difference between traditional bullying and cyber bullying is the use of electronic forms of contact. However this difference comes along with some specific aspects of cyber bullying that come from an electronic media: An increased potential to reach a large audience (publicity), an increased potential for anonymity of the cyber bully (anonymity), and decreased time and space limits (widespread). Due to these aspects, cyber bullying poses even greater psychosocial issues of victims than traditional bullying. (Campbell 2005; Dooley et al. 2009; Tokunaga 2010).

83% of girls and 79% of boys report being bullied either in school or online (www.nobullying.com). Unlike traditional "playground" bullying, cyber bullying can be done at any time, from any location, and possibly worst of all, can be completely anonymous. It is not limited to the playgrounds and street corners anymore. Cyber bullying is inescapable as long as they can access the World Wide Web. Cyber bullying knows no hours, locations, or set medium. This makes for a newly difficult situation for the victim - it can feel like there is no escape. “Bullying online is very different from face-to-face bullying because messages and images can be: Sent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Shared be shared to a very wide audience, Sent anonymously.” (www.stopbullying.gov)

Bullies on the Internet can now hide behind their computer screens and false identities; something that traditional playground bullies never could do. The entire Internet, in fact has become a haven for bullies because anonymity makes them unaccountable for their actions and virtually impossible to confront face to face. Anyone, if motivated to do so, can choose to take on the role of a cyber bully with the intention to aggravate and distress their victims. What’s even worrying is that anyone can take on this role and play it to the extent that they desire. Now, victims of bullying through technology may not even know their attacker and many times, a victim of cyber bullying may have many attackers all using a similar technology resulting in a new gang-bullying that can grow to a huge size very quickly. “Bullies and mean girls have been around forever, but technology has given them a whole new platform for their actions.” (kidshealth.org) Randi Zuckerberg, sister to the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, expressed in a panel in social media: “ I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.”

The Internet allows children access to a much larger community than in the past. Hence, a bully can torment a victim in front of a virtual audience of many people, such as a group of peers on a social networking site. This makes the victim feel more embarrassed and mortified...
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