The meaning of cyberbullying is to embarrass intimidate or in other words, it is the humiliating or treating of an individual using modern communication technology. The purpose of doing this is to acquire power and control over the humiliated person. It is not recommended because it is all about the abuse of power.
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Cyberbullying is characterized by the following signs
- Spending a lot of time on a computer
- One wants to be private in the room when using the internet or computer that is being secretive about things on the internet.
- Failure in the performance in the school work
- One loses appetite for food and wants to be on the computer every time. This is followed by the stomachache and then finally the fear.
In research recently, that 80% of teens were exposed to cyberbullying after researching on 5,000 teens. It was shown that the star wars kid was the most downloaded male image on the internet in the year 2004. (Elizabeth, 2006)
The growth in technology is not bad but it depends on how we use it. When one allows technology to be abused by children, the seed of this evil thing will grow beyond repair.
The Effects of Cyber Bullying
Cyberbullying has more negative effects on teens than positive ones. The changes in the behavior, emotional harm, change in sexual behavior, physical effects among others.
Cyberbullying has led to peer aggression. Threatening messages can make teens accuse each other verbally or they can torture others through physical means like kicking, hitting among others.
As observed by Sharon and Richard (2006) these will destroy the relationship between teens and so cyberbullying should be stopped. Relation aggression through teasing, spreading rumors verbal insults, video planning, and cyberbullying has led to negative relations between the teens. The teens spread rumors in messages through the internet about other teens and so it should be stopped. The teens who would bully others and are reported to the heads of the school are likely to be suspended or expelled from the school and this will affect their learning. Also, the victim of humiliation or threatening material may circulate exposing someone to rape threats, photographs of a victim who have added to pornographic images can affect the school or even the victim can run away from school.
The other effect is safety. Cyberbullying has been threatening some teens making them feel insecure always. For example, if one receives a text message being threatened of rape, killing, etc, it makes one feel insecure when walking, sleeping, or playing around. (Kenneth, 2005)
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Cyberbullying has also led to distress, stress, and strain which has exposed many teens to use drugs like alcohol and marijuana. This has made many teens run away from home, cheat on school tests, skipping schools, and can finally even lead to the death of the victim through suicide.
Cyberbullying is also addictive. Many teens spend long hours on computers or in a cyber cafe, watching pornographic videos, spreading rumors through text messages, looking for pen pals on the internet and thus has affected their health by losing appetite for food, it has also caused some fear through threatened message causing stomachache as a result of stomach ulcers.
Emotional harm caused by cyberbullying has also led to embarrassment to some individuals. This embarrassed or uncomfortable victim feels low which finally leads to power imbalances. The teens who bully others through the internet feel superior to the teens that are being victimized thus leading to power imbalances between the teens. (Kenneth, 2005)
Thus for these reasons, cyberbullying should be stopped among teens and adults to prevent all the impacts caused by it like emotional effects, physical torture, death, drug abuse, poor performance in the schools, and also victims running away from their homes.
Some solution measures should be put in place in the institutions, the society, and on teens at large.
The solution to cyberbullying especially among teens lies in the hands of the parents, schools, government, and advertisement or business sectors. Parents must be open to their affected children by talking to them about the subject. The parents should also put the computer in an open space to avoid the child being in private places. The school, on the other hand, should have policies that don’t allow the child to access the sites which can encourage cyberbullying of the child, the teachers should also educate their students about cyberbullying.
In the business sector, businessmen should advertise their products responsibly and avoid certain sites which can affect the child or the society.
The government should have laws to encourage education on bullying the government should also fund anti-bullying programs. The teens can also help in preventing cyberbullying by rejecting the cyber during messages, encouraging their friends to stop these trends they should report to cyberbullying report to a responsible adult.
Elizabeth, A. Bully prevention, New York: Crown press, 2006.
Ken, R. Bullying in the school, Aust council for education Research, 1996.
Kenneth, S. The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention, London, Oxford University Press, 2005.
Sharon, Y. and Richard, C. Technology and Education, New York: Emerald group publishing, 2006.