A worldwide problem that has drastically increased since the internet has become popular is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying, on the internet. It is the use of electronic communication to send messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. I believe that cyberbullying should be terminated and people who cyberbully others should be given major consequences. Cyberbullying causes deaths all over and it should be put to an end before the number of fatalities increase.
Do you have a lack of self-worth?
Everyone is bullied at least once in their life, but for others, this may be a continuous problem. Low self-esteem is very common, but when bullied, victims constantly feel like they’re worthless and lesser than the bully. Although bullying can happen face-to-face, most of it occurs online and more commonly amongst teenagers.
In this generation, kids are always on electronics, which makes them more susceptible to the dangers of the internet. When reading an article about cyberbullying being linked to depression, Hamm told LiveScience that "There were consistent associations between exposure to cyberbullying and increased likelihood of depression,". Kids don’t understand that the internet can cause big problems, and although they are only trying to fit in, they are often times putting themselves in dangerous situations without even realizing.
When watching the movie “Cyberbully” a teenager named Taylor Hillridge recieved a computer for her birthday. The first thing she did was make a Cliqusters account because she wanted to fit in with everyone at school that had one as well. Soon after, she began to get cyberbullied by her classmates. This leads to Taylor losing interest in the things she once loved. Although this movie isn’t based on a true story, it shows what this type of abuse can do to teenagers. Unfortunately, this bullying was not acknowledged until Taylor attempted suicide.
Not wanting to go to school
It’s usually common for kids to want to skip a day of school every once in awhile, but what’s not common is wanting to miss school every day. School should be a safe place for kids to see their friends and get the education they need. When being cyberbullied, especially by classmates, it makes kids not want to go to school and face them. They don’t want to see any people in fear that they will be bullied more.
For example, in the movie “Cyberbully” that I mentioned above, Taylor Hillridge did the same thing. She didn’t was always asking to miss school and she didn’t want to see anyone anymore. She couldn’t take the abuse her classmates were giving her so she stayed home. She didn’t want to face them or the awful feelings she had.
When reading an article about By Justin W. Patchin on Cyberbullying, it showed a graph of kids who stay home because of cyberbullying. Out of 5,700 students from the ages 12-17, 10.3% stayed home because of the bullying. 60.8% of the kids said it affected the way they learned and made them feel not safe at school. When reading these numbers, it really makes you think...can young kids really be this mean?
Leading to suicide
Suicide is the worst effect of cyberbullying. For someone to feel so low and so alone that they think it’s the only option is not okay. Victims think no one cares about them and no one will miss them when they’re gone, but they don’t know how wrong they are until it’s too late. Small things lead up to this and no one usually sees the signs. It starts with depression or low self-esteem issues, and then it goes to constantly missing school. Once it gets too bad, they try to commit suicide.
Megan Meier, 13 years old, hung herself because people from school were cyberbullying her. They were posting mean comments about her over MySpace. According to her father, the boy she liked named Josh said "Everybody in O'Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a s***ty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you." This is the last thing she saw before she committed suicide.
Brandy Vela, an 18-year-old girl from Texas shot herself in front of her family because of how bad the cyberbullying was. The cyberbullies made fake facebook accounts and posted mean comments about her weight and looks. When she reported the accounts, someone would just make a new one to torment her. Brandy even went to her school, but they could do nothing about it. Brandy had finally had enough of this torture and she committed suicide on November 29th.
Mallory Grossman, 12 years old committed suicide on June 14th because she was being cyberbullied. Her parents said that she was being harassed through social media such as Snapchat and Instagram, along with text messages. Mallory didn’t want to go to school, she constantly felt sick and her grades plummeted. A 12-year-old girl took her life because of the way others treated her.
Trying to find a solution
There can be some solutions to try to stop cyberbullying. One solution can be to not look at the texts, don’t respond or just delete the messages right away. These may sound like bad solutions, but they can be super helpful because you aren’t getting involved with your bully, you’re showing you don’t care which makes them not want to bother you anymore. Another solution could be blocking the bully. This will help because this person will no longer be able to harass you. Just like the other 2 ways I suggested, there are ways the bully can get around, but it gives you time to tell someone what is happening so you can get help. It is always better to tell an adult about what is happening than to hold it in. A big part of social media is what you post. Before you post things think of how others will react. Don’t say anything hurtful to anyone online or in person. Some people say things not meaning to be mean, but it comes out differently to the person and they will feel attacked.
Cyberbullying is a serious problem with serious consequences and it needs to end. It causes depression and low self-esteem which leads kids to not want to go to school or do the activities they once did. If the bullying is bad enough it leads to suicide. People should tell adults if they’re a victim of cyberbullying so the parent can help. Kids shouldn’t interact with their bully because it could only furthermore the problem.