Since the beginning of this century, the Internet has become an integral part of people’s lives that gives them the opportunity to search for new information to gain knowledge or find entertainment. However, whether it is for better or worse is still a topic for debate. Limitless online resources are used not only for searching for useful information but also to anonymously harass, torment, or provoke other people.
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When it comes to using online resources to bully someone, it is often that the victims and the attacker are young people. One of the examples in the case of Rebecca Sedwick, who had been bullied for months on different social media platforms and, because of it, took her own life at the age of twelve (Culbent & Stronider, 2017). The torment started online, but because of the anonymity the Internet presented, the bullies got more confident, and the abuse became physical. This case shows that if not handled correctly and timely cyberbullying can lead to irreversible consequences.
Since people have unlimited access to online resources, it gave the abusers the opportunity to harass people non-stop. Like in the case of Rebecca Sedwick, only after her pass, it becomes evident that she had been bullied by “as many as 15 girls” (Culbent & Stronider, 2017). The bullies could harass the victim on different social media platforms at any time from multiple accounts. This, eventually, made it harder for the victim to identify the abusers and try to stand up against them.
Essentially, when someone is constantly bullied, it lowers their self-esteem and leads to mental health issues. With health issues, some people tend to seek comfort in using drugs, and nowadays, they try getting those online. Researchers show that in the US most common platforms to get drugs are Instagram (42%), Facebook (38%), and Craigslist (19%) (Oksanen et al., 2021). Purchasing online not only gives people constant access to drugs but also makes it easier to come back to those, which only makes the situation worse.
Preventing cyberbullying is important because it is dangerous not only for the victims but also for the bullies. Later in life, they may tend more to physical abuse and become a danger to society since they may not understand the consequences of their actions. Adults have to spread awareness among young people on how to stand up for themselves and who to ask for help.
Culbent, M., & Stronider, N. (2017). Digital forensics in cyberbullying. JIMS8I-International Journal of Information Communication and Computing Technology, 5(2), 299–309.
Oksanen, A., Miller, B. L., Savolainen, I., Sirola, A., Demant, J., Kaakinen, M., & Zych, I. (2021). Social media and access to drugs online: A nationwide study in the United States and Spain among adolescents and young adults. European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 13(1), 29–36.
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