The primary goal of the given study is the investigation of cyber-bullying, which is nowadays one of the integral parts of social media and the Internet. In accordance with the research, this phenomenon becomes one of the main sources of problems and negative associations people might experience when using new social platforms or other sites that provide the opportunity to communicate and engage in mediated conversation.
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Today, people spend much time using these technologies and devoting their attention to this sort of activity. Because of the opportunity to preserve anonymity and remain unknown to the interlocutor, many individuals might offend others seeking pleasure or some other emotions (Gordon, 2019). Due to the fast development of this sector, this tendency poses a real threat to the growing number of individuals who can be characterized as Internet users, regardless of their age, gender, race. In such a way, cyber-bulling is one of the most undesired elements of social networks and media that should be eliminated by utilizing various approaches.
The focus of the given research is to outline possible solutions that can be used by individuals or victims to avoid cyber-bullying or cope with it to preserve positive emotions associated with the use of the Internet. The need for the given solution is critical as this negative practice might significantly increase the risk of suicide, mental and health problems such as anxiety, humiliation, or isolation, and loneliness.
The hypothesis of the study is the following:
Cyberbullying negatively affects Internet users and preconditions the appearance of suicidal inclinations, feeling of anxiety, or psychological disorders, which means that the introduction of effective solutions to it is critical to improving the situation.
The offered research report will explain all aspects of the selected problem and outline key findings that should be mentioned regarding the topic.
The methodology for the given project presupposes the combined approach. First, the survey is used to collect information about cyber-bullying and how it affects people. Second, there is a review of published research materials devoted to the given topic to create the theoretical framework for the discussion of the selected problem and its improved understanding. The utilization of these two approaches is expected to have a positive impact on the research as it will increase its credibility, relevance and make the conclusion more important for future studies.
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The survey is designed to conduct research among the group selected for this study. The target audience is teenagers, boys, and girls who are the most evident victims of cyber-bullying as they spend the bigger part of their everyday life on the Internet.
The designed questionnaires look in the following way:
- Have you ever experienced cyber-bullying?
- What are the main problems you experienced because of cyber-bullying?
- Do you know persons who offended you?
- What was your first reaction to cyber-bullying?
- What are the most aggressive platforms?
- Were there some gender issues or focus on you as a girl?
- Where there some sexual harassment?
- What can be an effective measure to stop it?
The information acquired due to the utilization of these surveys reveals the following facts. First, all teenagers regardless of their gender have experienced cyber-bullying at least once in their lives. The forms were different in terms of severity and offenses; however, all respondents admitted that it remains one of the Internet’s problems and deteriorates their experience of using it. Among questions that arose because of cyber-bullying, some boys stated that they engaged in fights, or had some feeling of isolation or loneliness if there were systematic offenses.
No one from the males said that he had suicidal inclinations or similar feelings. As for girls, they have more emotional answers as they often cried from cyber-bullying and had unpleasant thoughts, including suicidal ones. Additionally, there were cases of sexual harassment or gender issues that were touched to offend a girl.
Moreover, all respondents who were given these surveys do not know persons who started cyber-bullying. They have some ideas about it resting on their relations within the collective or some other factors; however, they cannot say for sure. It proves the fact that because of their anonymity, people can use the Internet to perform offensive actions and threaten other individuals who might provoke their aggression in different ways.
Additionally, both girls and boys admitted that social networks are the main source of cyber-bullying as they provide an opportunity for individuals to express their negative emotions, not being afraid of punishment or some other penalties. Moreover, there can be groups that might engage in cyber-bullying and focus on one person, which becomes one of the worst forms of this social stigma in accordance with respondents’ answers.
As for the ways to stop it or protect individuals, especially young ones from cyber-bullying, there is no unified solution that is offered by respondents. The most popular approaches presuppose the monitoring of networks and activities of Internet users. However, teenagers also want to preserve their independence, which might decrease the effectiveness of the proposed measure. Another option is the strict regulation of IP addresses to provide appropriate punishment for people who offend basic rules. Finally, both boys and girls are sure that all offenders should bear responsibility for their hostile reactions or actions and be punished for cyber-bullying regardless of its severity.
Altogether, surveys show that the problem of cyber-bullying remains topical for the selected age group. Teenagers often become victims of the maleficent of vicious actions that are performed by users of the Internet. There might be various forms or messages that are used to abuse people; however, all actions of this sort precondition the critical deterioration of their moods, emotional states, psyche, and appearance of undesired intentions. For this reason, there is a critical need for an in-depth investigation of this phenomenon with the primary aim to understand how to struggle against it and guarantee that people will not have various problematic issues.
The existing literature also accepts the existence of the problem in this field. There is a clear understanding of the fact that cyber-bullying is one of the issues that should be eliminated to guarantee comfort to all people who use the Internet regardless of their age, gender, race, or social class.
Undesired Consequences and Negative Feelings
The existing literature also emphasizes the fact that cyber-bullying might precondition strong and undesired emotional and psychological effects. The majority of victims start to suffer from a set of symptoms that are traditionally associated with cyber-bullying and its various forms. First, Gordon (2019) admits the feeling of being overwhelmed as people do not expect to be targeted or victims. They cannot understand what happens and how to act, which might cause a set of undesired outcomes. They cannot handle the situation, and it evolves in accordance with the worst scenario (Gordon, 2019).
Another critical factor is the appearance of the feeling of vulnerability and powerlessness as individuals cannot be safe (Gordon, 2019). The popularization of the Internet means that all persons can always remain available or online, which provides additional chances for abusers. Finally, humiliation is another unpleasant emotion linked to cyber-bullying as the majority of people who have experienced it report the existence of these feeling and their inability to avoid them. In such a way, Gordon (2019) clearly outlines the existence of a set of negative consequences that might appear because of cyber-bullying and their negative impact on the state of individuals.
Relations of Trust
Fitzgerald (2018), speaking about cyber-bullying, outlines some ways that can be helpful in struggling against this issue and protecting various populations, especially children. One of the core elements is the creation of relations of trust, which serve as powerful protection against various offenses. The fact is that in the majority of cases, victims of vicious attacks on the Internet did not discuss these problems with close people or with individuals who might help them (Fitzgerald, 2018).
For this reason, for children, parents should create rules for online safety and the use of the Internet as they will help to avoid critical problems and spending too much time in networks that are one of the primary causes for multiple issues (Fitzgerald, 2018). Additionally, it is fundamental do not to respond to any cyber-bullying attacks, threats, or comments online, as it might trigger even more massive offenses and precondition undesired results (Fitzgerald, 2018). If there is a high level of trust in the family, all its members can be protected from cyberbullying because of support and some avoidance strategies that might be helpful in struggling against it.
Keeping Evidence and Avoiding Conflict
Continuing the cogitation about cyber-bullying and how it can be stopped, the authors outline the fact that keeping evidence and avoidance are two best possible strategies that can help to struggle against the problem. Despins (2018) states that regardless of the situation and causes for attacks, a person who becomes a victim should be ready to save all messages that contain threats or aggressive inclinations to provide the appropriate punishment to offenders. Many platforms that exist today have a special reporting function that can be used to inform developers or managers about the case of cyber-bullying and guarantee that there will be a certain response applied to offenders and depriving them of the chance to keep acting in these ways (Despins, 2018).
Additionally, supporting the previous idea, Despins (2018) emphasizes that trust and sharing are important components of protection against cyber-bullying that can be used by individuals to resist attacks and preserve their healthy and sound status. There is also a critical need for reporting even if a person is not a victim but a witness of cyber-bullying as it is one of the strategies that can help to reduce the number of offenders and protect other people.
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The given study shows that the problem of cyber-bullying remains a topical and relevant theme that poses many questions. In the course of the investigation, we came to the conclusion that the given negative aspect of communication on the Internet might case an extremely negative impact on individuals.
The questionnaire distributed among the respondents showed that almost all of them faced various cases of bullying in social networks or other platforms created specifically for the interaction between individuals. Moreover, there are also some differences regarding gender as girls experience a higher risk of being offended because of their sex. In such a way, the survey proves the existence of this problematic issue, especially topical for younger populations.
The sources used for the given project outline that there are some ways to struggle against cyber-bullying and reduced its accidence. The main ideas are trust, reporting, and avoidance, which might help individuals to be healthy and avoid critical deterioration of their states.
The main problems can be fear, anxiety, the feeling of helplessness, and even the appearance of suicidal inclinations. For this reason, there is a critical need for the future investigation of the problem with the prior goal to outline new approaches to solving this problem and improve the understanding of how cyber-bullying impacts individuals, how its negative impact can be mitigated, and what is the future of this question regarding the evolution of social networks in the future.
Despins, G. (2018). Cyberbullying Day: Advice for victims and witnesses. Web.
Fitzgerald, P. (n.d.). How to stop cyberbullying: 18 tips for parents and kids. Parents. Web.
Gordon, S. (2019). The real-life effects of cyberbullying on children. Web.