Cyberbullying vs. Traditional Bullying
Bullying and cyberbullying are both forms of peer abuse, but cyberbullying has the potential to be much more dangerous. Bullying has always been a nuisance, but cyberbullying is going to be an important global issue for a long time to come. With the rise of the internet, message boards, social networking sites, and online gaming, cyberbullying is going to continue to increase. This essay will discuss the similarities and differences between the two forms of bullying, and why there is cause for concern regarding this issue. Both bullying and cyberbullying are forms of abuse from peer to peer. Each involves one individual or group picking on another individual or group. Both forms of bullying can lead to physical altercations. In serious instances, cyberbullying and regular bullying can both lead to death. Bullying is shown to have long lasting effects like depression or the bullied person reverting to bullying someone else. All of these effects go hand in hand with cyberbullying and regular bullying. There are many differences between cyberbullying and bullying. Usually when bullying occurs, there is a teacher or a student nearby to break it up or report what happened. Regarding cyberbullying, by the time someone finds out about the abuse it is usually too late. Most of the cyber portals that support cyberbullying are private and cannot be monitored by teachers or law enforcement. This creates an environment that encourages and breeds abuse. There are multiple cases of teens committing suicide because of abuse that they endured online, which Thomas J. Billitteri discusses in his article "Cyberbullying." Bullying is usually containable in the school yard, whereas cyberbullying is almost impossible to control. With the rise of the internet and message boards, social networking sites, and online gaming, cyberbullying is going to continue to be an enormous problem for the foreseeable future. Cyberbullying is going to be a growing problem for a long long time. In the future parents are going to have to adapt to this growing problem. Parents are going to have to pay as much attention to their children’s internet activity as they do to their schoolwork. For example, a parent may know about someone bullying their child at school, but their child may also be enduring worse abuse online. Case in point, parents are going to have to teach their children to tell them if someone is bullying them, even if it is on the internet.
Billitteri, Thomas J. “Cyberbullying” CQResearcher.com. Sage Publications, May 2008. Web. March 2010.