Cyber bullying And Our Youth
In the modern world, the bullies have shifted from their old forms of bullying. Today, the society is being faced by a new form of bullying. The cyber bullying has replaced the old form of bullying where bullies could confront their targets face by face, and at a specific location. The cyberbullying is an aggressive action that is taken by individuals repeatedly through the use of electronic devices. The trend continues to a point where the attacked persons can no longer defend themselves against the bullies. Bullying could only occur in social places like schools, and it could not occur beyond the school borders. However, in the modern world, bullying is occurring online, this means that the bullies can get reach of their targets even when they are far away. The new form of bullying has affected the youths as well as the adults, with the youths being the easiest targets. The advancements in the technology, as well as the growing popularity of the internet among the youths, are some of the factors that have made them simple targets. With the serious advancements in the social media as well as communication technology, it has become easy for the bullies, to bully their targets without fear.
They can engage their targets in destructive communication while they are far away. The cyber bullying has become very popular in the society due to social media and other outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The youths are easy to get targets since they are on these media platforms. While the social media is for socialization, it has now become a tool for cyberbullying. This paper lays an explicit focus on the problem of cyber bullying among the youths.
The worst hit victims are youths from the LGBTQ populations. These youths cannot speak openly because they are certain that they will receive a lot of criticism. Cyberbullying raises a lot of questions to both the victims as well as the perpetrators. One wonders whether the cyber bullies suffer from homophobia, and they respond by abusing people. The only thing that is attributable to bullying is that the bullies are determined to bully others because they are ignorant of other people humanity as well as their orienting choices (Schneider et al, 2012).
While retaliation is considerable, it is unfortunate that the victims cannot transform into a rogue and defend themselves (Ramanathan, 2013). Children do not have the maturity or the knowledge to handle such crises. Cyber bullying has had very significant impacts on the children. Some of them have suffered from depression, substance abuse, self-mutilation and others even commit suicide (Patchin, 2010). Also, cyberbullying has also been found to be closely related to other symptoms such as somatic symptoms, anxiety, depression, low self-confidence as well as low self-esteem. It does not only affect the youths socially, but it also affects the youths in other ways. Cyberbullying has also affected the youth’s performance in schools. Victims of cyberbullying have faced a decline in school performance (Patchin, 2010). School attendance has also been a problem, and the family relationships have also been destroyed. Victims of cyberbullying do not want to attend schools because they feel embarrassed to face their bullies (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007). They feel humiliated because they know that others will perceive them negatively because of the messages that the bullies have shared with them. These children are much stressed, and they cannot even concentrate in the classroom. As a result, some of the children decide to drop out of school since they cannot keep up with the humiliation and embarrassment (Schneider et al, 2012).
In addition to poor school performance, cyber bullying is also causing other problems. For example, cyber bullying causes stress related problems. Children, who get bullied, experience symptoms such as a headache. Some of them may get stressed to a point where they will develop ulcers (Patchin, 2010).
On the other hand, cyber bullying leads to suicidal thoughts among the youths. The children who constantly experience bullying often lose hope in their lives (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007). They are so worried, and they have a perception that no one loves them. These children begin to develop a strong feeling that the only way that they can escape from their perpetrators is through committing suicide. There are many documented cases of suicides related to cyber bullying. A case example is the case of Jessica Logan, who committed suicide because her boyfriend leaked her nude photos online. This is just a single case, and there are many other cases that have not been documented (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007).
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Cyber bullying is a serious epidemic that is affecting many children all over the world. The impacts of cyberbullying are far reaching, and they have resulted in serious health concerns as well as low performance among the youths. Cyber bullying has posed as a serious threat to the lives of youths (Patchin, 2010). It has impacted on their; lives negatively. The most unfortunate things are that the cyberbullying epidemic is continuing to spread rapidly, and it is unstoppable. It has become a developing threat in the whole society, and the adolescents are the worst hit. The impacts of cyberbullying can are comparable to the impacts of bullying among members of the LGBT (Ramanathan, 2013).
The internet is a useful resource for all people. The youths as well as the adults, find the interests as an important resource for entertainment as well as learning. Parents should have the confidence when the children are using the internet sources. It would be odd if the parents limited the access of the intent to the children especially at this age when the internet is a useful resource (Vreeman & Carroll, 2007). However, it has been found that there is a lot of malicious use of the internet. The same has made the Internet a dangerous place for the youths. The experiences that have occurred to children whether they are online or offline have been so undesirable. The main problems with cyberbullying are that the victim is exposed to a very large number of people (Schneider et al, 2012). Cyberbullying is indifferent from the class bullying that may be embarrassing, but it is only confined to the students in the class. Furthermore, the cyber bullying becomes so dangerous when a group of bullies comes together, and they attack single persons (Schneider et al, 2012). Unlike the old form of bullying, cyber-bullying has many forms. It can include the use of texts; negative images r video clips that may be embarrassing to the child. It can also spread very fast because it is revisited every second and some of the viewers may also have a copy of the clip or the video. The same makes it easy to spread cyber bullying (Patchin, 2010).
Cyber bullying can also take other serious forms such as texting. Bullies are known to send harassing messages to their victims. They use this tactic most often, especially when they want to engage the victim fully. The messages are either abusive, or they are meant to portray the victims negatively (Vreeman & Carroll, 2007). Unfortunately, they also send the messages to the other people who also extend their bullying to the victim. A victim can, therefore, receive very many negative messages from bullies. On the other hand, cyber bullying is also taking the form of stalking.
In this case, the bullies issue threats to the victims. They intimidate them a lot as a way of instilling fear (Schneider et al, 2012). These are the reasons the victims of cyber bullying commit suicide or they are absent from school. The bullies are also spreading negative rumors. The bullies spread cooked lies to other people so that the victims can be perceived negatively in the public limelight (Patchin, 2010). Another common strategy that the bullies have been using is by pretending to be someone else. They steal the identity of the victim, and they share information that could have an impact on the reputation of the individual. It mainly occurs when the cyber bullies steal the online details of the victim. In some cases, bullies have also been known to use outing, where they reveal the public information s shared confidential.
The form of bullying has become a common phenomenon especially when there are relationship problems. It is also often occurring when people envy others because of their success. The most serious problem with cyber bullying is that it is even hard for one to identify the bully (Patchin, 2010). The bully can be within but since he is using a hidden or a fake identity, it becomes so hard for one to identify them. Cyberbullying has turned to me a dangerous form of bullying because; the victims are portrayed negatively to the whole world. It is very impossible to remove something that has circulated on the internet. The rapid pace of spreading of information is also another challenge that makes it hard for cyberbullying to be controlled (Patchin, 2010).
On the side of the LGBT, the LGBT have been found to be very prone to cyberbullying. They are three times likely to be harassed online than their counterparts who are non-LGBT (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007). The high level of bullying among the LGBT population can only be attributed to their frequent use of the internet than their counterparts (Ramanathan, 2013). According to the study that was carried out by Kumar, it was evident that the LGBT youths spend more than 5 hours of their time on the internet. The same explains why the LGBT youths have a high risk of being bullied by their fellow youths in the online systems (Ramanathan, 2013).
It is unfortunate that the LGBT youths mainly use the online systems so that they can get support and information on their different gender orientation, but on the other hand, they are bullied. The studied also revealed that moiré than 40 of the LGBT youths have experienced cyberbullying (Ramanathan, 2013). A significant proportion of the youths also reported that they have experienced threats online, and they no longer feel the internet as a safe place. The case of the LGBT youths is worse when compared to the cases of non-LGBT youths. One in five of the youths reported that they have received abuse messages from the bullies (Ramanathan, 2013). This proportion is a bit high when compared with youths who are non-LGBT. On the other hand, a third of the LGBT youths claimed that they have experienced sexual harassment online (Ramanathan, 2013).
The number is more than four times of the cases of bullying that have been reported by non-LGBT youths. It is, therefore, notable that the LGBT population is an endangered group (Ramanathan, 2013). They are at a very high risk of cyberbullying than their counterparts. The most unfortunate thing is that the LGBT cases have been ignored, and the responsible people have only focused on the issues of cyber bullying among the non-LGBT population since it’s a large group (Ramanathan, 2013). However, this should not be the case; the LGBT group is suffering a lot than their counterparts.
The constant harassments among the LGBT youths have had serious effects on their lives as well as on their mental health (Ramanathan, 2013). Most of these youths have been bullied badly, and they have developed serious psychological problems (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007). The fact that these people are a minority, they have become a vulnerable population that is very prone to cyberbullying. Other researchers have argued that the intent has reinforced the offline perceptions that exist in the society about the LGBT people (Ramanathan, 2013).
The effects of cyberbullying are not in any case different from the impacts of bullying among the LGBT population (Ramanathan, 2013). The LGBT population is at a high risk of being bullied than the others. The worst problem is that the LGBT population is also likely to experience a lot of harm from bullying than other people (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007).
In the case of LGBT, they are two times more likely to engage in drug abuse as a result of cyberbullying than the other people. These people engage in these risky behaviors because they are very prone to cyberbullying, and the only way of coping is by taking drugs. The same explains why there are very many drug addicts who are LGBT. These people have suffered from negative criticism, and they have suffered a lot (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007).
The most unfortunate thing is that only a small proportion of the LGBT youths claim that they are happy with their sexual orientation. The larger proportion is seriously frustrated by their sexual orientation. These youths experience constant attacks, and they are bullied on a continuous basis (Mustanski, Garofalo, & Emerson, 2007). Many of them argue that they can only get happiness when they are away from their township. While other people who do not lie under the LGBT claim that they are facing the effects of cyber bullying, the LGBT population is facing more serious harm (Ramanathan, 2013). They are not fully accepted in the society, and thus they have become targets of everyone who is against the LGBT. Although there are US laws that protect the right of everyone, it has been eminent that these rules are not effective in fighting cyberbullying among the vulnerable groups such as the LGBT.
In the education sector, the LGBT population is bullied a lot to a point that they do not even feel it worth to pursue their education (Ramanathan, 2013). Many of them drop from school because they cannot tolerate the bullying. Most of them feel that they are not safe in school. They are more likely to be intimidated by others than their counterparts who have the normal sexual orientation. Suicide cases have also been reported among the LGBT population. Kenneth Weishuhn is an example of LGBT persons who have committed suicide due to cyber bullying. He was seriously attacked online by the classmates, and he was threatened with death (Ramanathan, 2013).
It is also important to address the impacts of the cyber bullying on the bullies. The cyberbullies are also affected by their acts. Although they do not suffer physically, they suffer psychologically. These people are likely to experience a lot of frustrations in their lives. They are likely to engage in alcohol abuse when they are at a very young age. Their behavior may also progress as they grow into adulthood.
On the other hand, the cyber bullies also experience an academic decline. These students are likely to perform poorly because they cannot concentrate. Their main aim is to intimidate other students and therefore, it becomes so hard for them to pursue education well. In most cases, these are likely to drop out of school, when they are at a very young age.
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The bullies are also likely to experience social deviance issues (Patchin, 2010). For example, they are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors very young age. In the case of girls, they get unwanted pregnancies and other diseases. Some researchers argue that bullies do not stop their behaviors even when they grow up. These people extend their dangerous behaviors to their spouses (Schneider et al, 2012). It has been noted that these people are more likely to harm their partners in a relationship.
Cyber bullying is the modern form of bullying that has replaced the old form of bullying. Cyber bullying has been facilitated by the internet and the social media. Cyber bullying has become as a serious epidemic that is affecting the youths today. A large number of youths have fallen victims of cyber bullying either through harmful messages or bad exposure. The worst thing is that it is not easy to stop cyber bullying. Once it has occurred, it becomes so hard to control it since the contents that have been posted online cannot be removed with ease. The youths have suffered a lot due to cyber bullying. Their education performance has been impacted negatively. Some of them have suffered from serious depression while others have even committed suicide. The effects of cyberbullying on the youths are not any different from the impacts of the same on the LGBT population. The LGBT population has a very high risk of being bullied than their counterparts. They are twice likely to be intimidated and harassed. Finally, the impacts of cyberbullying are not only limited to victims, but the perpetrators are also affected.