Cyberbullying is defined by dictionary.com as “the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages, usually anonymously.” With the prevalence of social media, cyberbullying is rampant in this generation.
A study done in 2015 by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System said, “An estimated 16% of high school students were bullied electronically in the 12 months prior to the survey.” If these numbers were applied at Charter Oak of the 1,500 students, about 240 would have been cyberbullied.
Cyberbullying is when someone posts comments or harasses an individual through the internet. It is important for the individual not to retaliate and stoop to the level of the bully because it can lead to additional conflict.
Social media definitely plays a role in cyberbullying because sending a message anonymously through apps with the intention of hurting somebody is easy. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, Twitter, and YouTube are common places where a person can be cyberbullied.
An anonymous sophomore said, “A few years ago I was cyberbullied on ask.fm and was told that I was ugly and told to move schools by people on the app.” Ask.fm is a type of social media where people can ask questions anonymously to the user, similar to Omegle.
Cyberbullying can be prevented by simply not having any types of social media. According to Stopbullying,“The more digital platforms that a child uses, the more opportunities there are for being exposed to potential [cyber bullying].”
An individual’s likelihood of being harassed online can be lessened by not accessing so many apps that have high statistical rates of bullying.
Cyberbullying can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. According to Kidshealth, “Experts say that kids who are bullied — and the bullies themselves — are at a higher risk for suicidal thoughts, attempts, and completed suicides.”
Many high school students often hide their emotions in front of others because of the fear of being made fun of and or embarrassed.
Even in television today, bullying is depicted. In Netflix’s Original TV series, “Thirteen Reasons Why,” the show is an intense view of bullying, through in-person harassment and the anonymity of social media. The protagonist Hannah Baker eventually is lead to the point of suicide. The series shows how far bullying can go despite people being aware of issue and doing nothing to help prevent the long-term effects.
Cyberbulling is a serious issue of this generation and is important to tell a trusted adult if you are being bullied in person or in cyberspace.
A sophomore said, “Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I was afraid because the [bully] was probably afraid to tell me in person, so they must’ve been more scared.”