Many adolescents are possibly experiencing violence through cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can be very harmful to teens because it can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Cyber bullying is both harmful to the victims and the bullies. In some cases, the cyber bullies may not recognize the outcomes of their actions to themselves. Research was conducted by the Cyber Bullying Research Center and the outcomes indicated that 80 percent of teenagers are affected by cyber bullying. Girls are the most affected than boys. Almost half of teenagers have been victims of certain form of cyber bullying, while 10 to 20 percent experience it on a regular basis. This paper gives a clear picture of the entire concept of cyber bullying and provides solutions to this problem.
Bullying is defined as repeated acts of peer aggression intentionally designed to harm a person who is weaker than the bully. Bullying has distractive influence in student’s achievement, and the school environment. When students having fears of going to school because of violence and harassment, their attendance decreased and cause gap achievement. Advances in technology, such as the internet and social media applications have led to a new form of bullying, cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is defined as bullying through electronic media, such as through social networks, e-mail, or mobile devices. The bullying may take the form of mocking, lying, threatening, or sharing private information without permission (Yalda, 2012). Some cyber bullies are victims of real word bullying, and go online and bully others to feel powerful. Others are bullies offline, and want to extend their sphere of influence and power to the online world. Other cyber bullies just want to show that they can do certain things online to show off (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007).
Statement of the Problem
Cyber bullying has been found to be a serious threat to the social and academic health of adolescents. One of the most effective strategies for stopping cyber bullying is curtailing the bully’s access to devices used to bully, such as the internet. This is challenging because (a) it requires parental cooperation, and (b) schools have to be careful not to violate students’ rights (King, 2010). Before these challenges can be dealt with, the first step to implementing the strategy must be in correctly determining if cyber bullying is occurring. Identifying cyber bullying is the necessary first step to stopping cyber bullying and providing the victim with appropriate treatment. Most cyber bullying takes place between school peers, so educators, in addition to parents, are in a unique position to watch for cyber bullying. The purpose of the proposed research is to determine how well educators recognize the signs of cyber bullying (Yalda, 2010).
Review of the literature
Previous research has shown that children who are bullied at school suffer several maladaptive outcomes. While some of the traits of cyber bullies are similar to more traditional bullies, it is important to note that there are some differences. One of the most significant differences is that victims of traditional bullying may feel safe away from school, but victims of cyber bullying can be bullied anywhere there is electronic access. Additionally, because the bullying takes place electronically, the distance between the bully and victim is great. As a result, the bully may be less aware of the results of his or her bullying (Yalda, 2012).
The literature supports a significant relation between the frequency of cyber bullying and negative psychosocial characteristic, behavioral problem, and emotional harm. Victims experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, psychological complaints, problems concentrating, and school failure (Berger, 2007). Cyber bullying is a new phenomenon of bullying students use to effectively isolates their targets causes of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying (King, 2010).
Statement of the hypothesis
Cyber bullying in adolescents seems to have a lasting effect on the lives of young individuals. Cyber bullying appears to be extremely harming to adolescents and young people because it can cause depression and even suicide commission (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007). It seems that once materials have been posted on the internet, they can never disappear, rematerializing at later periods to refurbish the pain of cyber bullying (Yalda, 2012). In other words, it appears like once the bullying has occurred it can never leave the mind of a young person.
The method used to conduct research concerning cyber bullying was the use of open-ended questionnaires. The research was conducted by the Cyber Bullying Research Center in 2005. This research center is located in New York City but operates in the entire United States. The research team was responsible for giving the questionnaires to students who were not permitted to write their names in order to ensure anonymity (King, 2010).
The subject of the research to be conducted was why adolescents are mostly affected by cyber bullying than any other people.
The instruments that were required for this research included printers, photocopy machines, envelopes, pens and the questionnaires. Envelopes were beneficial for transporting and transmitting the questionnaires to various schools in distinct states in order to submit them while clean and untouched. This was essential because it enabled the respondents to realize how serious the study was and thus, respond to them respectively.
Just as mentioned above, the questionnaires used were open-ended questionnaires, which were very simple with an ordinary design. They were very simple with questions that had response choices and spaces to leave comments (Yalda, 2012). They were just ordinary papers with questions and response choices, which make it ordinary.
The procedure used in this research is systematic distribution of the questionnaire to students between the ages of 12 and 17 years. The research was conducted in different schools from different states in America. This was to enable the researchers cover a wider region and get the appropriate results that could not favor any region (King, 2010). The survey was intended to cover at least 10,000 teenagers with approximately 300 teenagers from every state. This means that the respondents from each school had to be about 50 students in order to cover several schools.
Since the survey had to issue accurate and considerable results, it had to take quite a long time in order to conduct an efficient survey. Therefore, the entire process had to take one month for the results to be ready. The research team had to divide so that other members go to South of US while others go East, West, Central and North of US. It should be done consistently in order to meet the time schedule. This team conducts the survey for one week in every state and move on to other states because they are many (Yalda, 2012). The best time to conduct the survey in schools is during break time or lunchtime so that it does not interfere with the learning activities of schools. About 15 minutes were required by each student to complete the questionnaire.
Travelling from one region to another is very tiring and need cost the research team a good sum of money. The costs entailed in the survey process included, fueling vehicles, purchasing food, booking rooms and lodgings, printing several copies of the questionnaires and miscellaneous costs. Therefore, the entire process budget that covered all these expenses consumed approximately $30,000 (Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007).
At the end of one month, the Cyber Bullying Research Center released the results of the survey and the implications are as follows. First, the outcome indicated that more than 80 percent of the respondent teens use cell phones frequently, making it the most popular technology form and an ordinary medium for cyber bullying (Berger, 2007). Besides, almost half of teenagers have been victims of certain form of cyber bullying, while 10 to 20 percent experience it on a regular basis. The most ordinary forms of cyber bullying include average to hurtful comments and dispersion of rumors (Yalda, 2012). Moreover, girls are at least as potentially as boys to be cyber bullies or their victims. However, they are also the most affected by cyber crimes especially sexual related crimes than boys. Boys, on the other hand, experience more threatening form of bullying than girls. Additionally, cyber bullying has impact to all races. Bullied teenagers are likely to be stressed up to extent of developing depressions. In fact, cyber bullying victim are likely to have low self-esteem and to regard things like suicide (Yalda, 2010).
It is also sad to note that according to the survey, almost half of teenagers have been casualties of cyber bullying and among them, and only 10 percent finds it possible to inform their parents about it. Less than 25 percent of cyber bullying cases are reported to law enforcement (Berger, 2007). Moreover, 10 percent of teenagers have had humiliating and or harmful depictions taken of themselves without their knowledge or consent, mostly using cell phones cameras.
According to the results acquired above, cyber bullying influences several adolescents and young people on each day (Yalda, 2010). Cyber bullying is mostly observed in teenagers and young people because they are the people who are mostly involved in using technology like cell phones and the internet. Some of the main forms of cyber bullying include the following.
Sharing rumors through the internet or through texts:
- Pretending to be someone else online to harm another individual
- distributing mean massages or threats to an individual’s email account or cell phone
- posting harmful and threatening messages on social web pages (King, 2010)
- texting or distributing sexually suggestive images or messages about an individual
Cyber bullying can be very harmful to teens because it can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicide. In some cases, the cyber bullies may not recognize the outcomes of their actions to themselves. What they post online never disappear and it reflects awfully on them at later periods when they submit applications for college or job (Yalda, 2012). They may end up losing their cell phones or online accounts due to cyber bullying. Therefore, despite the fact that teens who are bullied are stressed up, depressed, anxious and sad, the bullies are also affected at later stages.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Teenagers or adolescents, parents and teachers can play important role to minimize the cyber bullying statistics. First, teachers and parents should be able to talk to teenagers about cyber bullying, let them be aware that it is wrong and can lead to serious outcomes (King, 2010). Come up with principles that teenagers should not send hurtful or mean messages, even if it was started by someone else or suggestive depictions or messages because they may end up losing their cell phones and computer opportunities for a time. Motivate them to be informing adults any incidents of cyber bullying. Let them know that being fatalities is not their liability and nobody will punish them for that. Comfort them that being fatalities is not their fault. Teens should also be able to block people who attempt to bully them (Yalda, 2012). They can also acquire new phone numbers or email accounts to be more careful. They should not inform any person their passwords and if it is necessary, then let them inform their parents and not friends. In order to ensure cyber bullying reduces, tell the teenagers to stop sharing anything through text or immediate messaging on their phones or the internet to avoid being made public (King, 2010).
Once these resolution measures have been adapted, the incidences of cyber bullying will reduce among adolescents thus give them ample time to concentrate on their studies.
King, A. V. (2010). “Constitutionality of Cyberbullying Laws: Keeping the Online Playground Safe for Both Teens and Free Speech,” Vanderbilt Law Review.
Berger, K. (2007). Update on school bullying at school: Science forgotten? Development Review, 27, 90-126.
Raskauskas, J., & Stoltz, A. D. (2007). Involvement in traditional and electronic bullying among adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 43, 564-575.
Yalda T. U. (2012). “Cyberbullying Has a Broader Impact than Traditional Bullying” Louise I. Gerdes, Ed. At Issue Series. Greenhaven Press.
Yalda T. U. (2010) “Is Bullying Going Digital? Cyber Bullying Facts, “PsychologyinAction.org. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com:80/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?di splayGroupName=Viewpoints&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE 7CEJ30107892 04&userGroupName=rock77357&jsid=25039fb9f5336f5e977613660d15d610