Horrible Effect of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves the use of information communication technology (ICT) to support deliberated, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. (Compton et al. 2). Nowadays technology plays an integral role in people’s life, with the internet connection, people can easily get contact with others, which bring a lot of conveniences. However, technology has also had negative impacts on its users, and one of the negativities of communication technology is cyber bullying, which is an item of our discussion. The point of focus is the identification of the effects of cyberbullying on individuals and how such outcome reflects on the social fabric of the society at large.

Cyber bullies reach their targets in very many ways including through social networking websites, text messaging, and instant messaging over the internet and also through phone calls to cell phones (Hinduja and Justin, 3). Unfortunately, most people have the misconception that cyberbullying only happens through the internet. Just like social networking services, cyberbullying become popular in teenagers. According to research by Dr. Justin Patchin from the University of Wisconsin, there are above 34 percent teenagers suffered from cyberbullying in the year 2015(Hinduja and Justin, 5). Notably, the National Crime Prevention in conjunction with Harris Interactive Inc. Carried out a study on cyberbullying. The outcome of the study was that 43% of the 824 teenagers surveyed in the United States had been cyberbullied in the past year (Cyberbullying Research Center.).Such a statistics explores the increasing social pressure on teenagers with diverse risks that include suicide among others.
Different from the traditional bullying which mostly happened on campus and where a student could be safe at his or her home, cyberbullying can happen anytime, anywhere. It is inescapable. Research done by Pew Internet and American Life Project on Cyberbullying in 2006 found out that out of three teenagers, one has experienced online harassment (Cyberbullying Research Center.) This is attributed to the making of private information public which includes but not limited to e-mails, text messages, pictures and more. Further, according to the research, girls of age ranging from 15-17 are more likely to be involved in cyberbullying and indicate that boys are more involved than boys. Cyber bullying comes in different forms including though not limited to cyber stalking, impersonation and harassment.
Cyberbullying affects the academic performance of learners negatively and in extreme cases see them drop out of school or underperform in their class work. Research has it that 13 percent of teenagers who use social media had experiences that made them nervous to go to school the following day. For example, Allison, a ninth grade in Washington DC, constantly received instant messages of hate in nature in her emails, I quote, “It seemed like it was from girls who I thought were my friends. When I confronted them, they denied it and blamed it on someone else. I never knew who was really behind it. I got paranoid and couldn’t concentrate in school” (Trolley and Constance, 12). The bullying affected Allison’s academics negatively. Regular anxiety shift minds of the victims from class work to perceived threat from the predators hence affecting their performance. The overall performance of the school is equally shaken.
Constant cyberbullying most likely elicit the need to abuse drugs or indulge in alcohol. Such an incentive for teenagers to consume alcohol is meant to suppress stress and depression. (Trolley and Constance, 12).This is because being bullied is a stressing issue and as such may lead to depression. They may use alcohol and drugs as the only way out of their tormenting situation. However, without realizing, resorting to drugs has not been helpful because that does not solve the problem at hand.in the end their mental and physical health deteriorates significantly. Critical mental torment from cyberbullying can lead some teenagers to commit or attempt suicide. Many cases of suicides emanating from cyberbullying have been reported. Marr and Field referred to suicide brought on by bullying as “bullycide” (cited Hinduja and Justin). A victim of suicide due to cyberbullying is one Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl from Missouri. She was cyberbullied to the point of hanging herself in the closet. Still, a Canadian girl Dawn Marie, 14 years of age committed suicide and left a note indicating that the cause of her action was bullying. As a matter of facts, the ring leader of the bullies was a girl (Hinduja and Justin, 16). Had they not have experienced bullying they could have lived longer than they did.
Moreover, cyberbullying can embarrass the victim. This happens most when pictures, real or fake are sent to the internet to intimidate or embarrass another person. With technology, such as the use of Photoshop, images can be edited to depict another person. Without careful analysis one may think that the picture is real. This embarrassment is big and can even cost one his or her job and friends. In addition, one may be driven to the state of rejection. With the advancement of technology once the image is uploaded to the internet many people download it and save to their devices. It becomes difficult for the memories of that ordeal to escape the minds of people.
Successive experience with cyberbullying provokes the spirit of revenge resulting in violence (Trolley and Constance, 34). A victim of cyberbullying may cause revenge on realizing the person behind his or cyber bully. Besides the bully may make his or her threat true by attacking the victim. This will at long last have interrupted the peace that existed. In addition, though victims of cyberbullying may not tell their loss of interest in normal activities, of which they used to have an interest in before, their behavior will depict a psychological problem. The victims may shy away from what was enjoyable before. Eating habits also change. Due to the stress from the oppressor, the victim will lose appetite on meals and can even go without a meal the whole day (Trolley and Constance, 28). Moreover, the lack of sleep, headaches, and stomachaches are also common (Compton et al, 13). Worse of it all is when he or she becomes disobedient and abusive to parents.
Last but not least, bonding and interacting with peers is often difficult for the victims of cyberbullying. They feel insecure, and since they have a stressing issue, bully, interactions and bonding are limited. The victims will try to avoid most of their friends leave alone not making new friends.
In conclusion, notably, the technology we use such as Myspace, Facebooks, and more social sites have been good for leisure and socialization. However, their misuse has more critical effects to victims in many ways as discussed above. The trend has been common in the United States and has progressed in recent years. However, it is not late. Much can be done to avert this practice. Cyberbullying is progressively tearing the social fabric of the society, and unless strict laws and regulations are put in place to manage action of people online, the damage may hit disastrous heights.

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