Cyberbullying Essay: Effects & Prevention

The model answer for Cyberbullying Essay.

Structure of Essay:

  1. Introduction – Definition of Cyberbullying, instances, how cyberbullying begins, age group cyberbullying is most active.
  2. Effects of Cyberbullying – Mental & Physical, Isolation, effect on friends and family
  3. How To Prevent Cyberbullying – Steps to be taken by parents, school authorities, government
  4. Conclusion

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Cyberbullying Essay

Cyber bullying essay

Cyberbullying essay

1. Introduction (What is Cyberbullying)

Cyberbullying is the act of bullying in the form of digital media or devices. It is a modern term for bullying, which emerged with the rise of the internet and mobile devices. (Definition)

Cyberbullying takes place on digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It can take the form of texts through SMSes, online chat forums, social networking sites and gaming forums. Acts such as posting, sending or sharing negative content that is harmful, mean or obscene, defines cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can also take the form of some illegal physical activities and unlawful behavior. The internet is the place where cyberbullying is most common. Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, to name a few are the most common sites for cyberbullying.

With the introduction of free messaging apps, the instances of cyberbullying have increased. The rampant use of mobile phones has brought cyberbullying at the tip of fingers and cyberbullies make use of these technologies to prey on potential victims.

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1.2 Examples and instances of cyberbullying:

Born in 1996, Amanda Todd was like any other teenager with dreams and a fascination for the internet. She met a stranger online who flattered her and convinced her to go topless. The stranger took pictures of her and kept stalking here for several other shows. When she tried to fight back the photos were sent to her family and friends. After which, she was abused and disrespected in school by her friends.

Going into major depression and anxiety, she tried taking her own life several times and finally succeeded. A month before she killed herself she released a video telling her story which became viral after her death and people realized how dreadful it was.

This is a prime example of how cyberbullying can destroy innocent.

1.3 How cyberbullying begins:

We live in a world dominated by technology and not only teenagers, but adults too are addicted to the use of electronic devices and the internet. The internet has played a major role in connecting the entire world and individuals from across the continents.

Cyberbullying starts in the virtual world. The cyberbullies enjoy the anonymity and the infinite reach of the internet to prey on unsuspecting and potential victims. Once they get hold of something personal of the victim, they start to either blackmail or harass them.

1.4 Age group in which Cyberbullying is most active:

Victims of cyberbullying are most commonly from the age group of 12 to 18. Teenagers get attracted to the online glamour and the attention that they get from strangers. The virtual fandom is what they seek, and they tend to do things for gaining followers on social sites such as Facebook and Instagram. But older victims can get caught in it too. School students are easy to target, and if they have a bully within they school then, it becomes more difficult to escape the bullying.

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2. Effects of cyberbullying

2.1 Mental And Physical Effects:

Cyberbullying can result in increased distress for the victims along with increased anger and frustration. They will vent this out on various occasions, and it might force them to get addicted to the virtual world where they can have several identities to hide their real one.

The victims will automatically have lower self-esteem since that is the sole purpose of bullying. Prolonged bullying will lead to severe withdrawal from their family and friends. They will begin favoring isolation most of the time and indulging in harmful activities like drugs and alcohol.

2.2 Feel alone and isolated:

Most of the victims are forced to stay away from any and all social sites in a bid to escape the cyberbullies. They separate themselves to feel a sense of protection form the outer world. Most of the victims do not reveal anything to their parents or family members to disappoint them. To escape the bullies, they may try to change their schools or home, but they are hardly able to escape the clutches of the tormentors.

Most of the time the victims would give up fighting the bullies and kill themselves to escape the pain and horrors of the continuous cyberbullying.

2.3 Disinterested in attending school:

If a schoolmate bullies a  kid, then the first way for him to avoid the bullying is to stop going to school. He/she would choose to skip classes to escape the tormentors temporarily. The feeling of embarrassment and humiliation from the fellow students will prevent the kid to return to school and have a healthy school life. Their grades will start dropping, and most of the time they will drop out.

2.4 Victims might get ill:

Apart from the usual mental and physical effects of cyberbullying, it can take a toll on the health of the victim. Symptoms like headaches and stomach problems are very often seen in the victims. It can also result in issues that are caused due to stress like various skin conditions and stomach ulcers. Due to binge eating or skipping meals several weight issues can arise, and they might have to deal with insomnia and other sleeping disorders.

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3. How To Prevent Cyberbullying?

3.1 Identify Victims:

Identifying victims may be a challenge if they are introverts initially, but every victim leaves off some prominent clues to their condition and their troubles. Isolating oneself and staying alone is one such clue. If they seem to be depressed all the time or are usually anxious and angry, then it may signal that they are going through some form of bullying.

3.2 Steps to be taken by parents and family members:

The primary step is to prevent the kids from coming in contact with these harmful and dangerous predators that are always prowling about for a victim. Try to keep the computer in a common area and stay updated with all the latest websites and trends on the internet. Teach them about the internet and how to use it responsibly and safely.

Communication is an essential step in getting to know about their situation. Talking to the child will help in building trust, and they will be more comfortable in sharing their troubles with the parents. Once they share what is happening, try not to overreact and blame them for the incident.

Ask them to be strong and let them know that they will always have their parents by their side. Cyberbullying is an actual threat and not a childish thing. Realizing the gravity of the situation is important in solving it.

3.3 Steps to be taken schools and colleges:

The faculties should be aware of any student showing the signs of being a bully or being bullied. If they have any concern, then they should delicately handle the situation and inform the authorities to take over the case. Schools should have counselors to assist the students and help them overcome any tough situation.

3.4 Steps to be taken as a country and laws necessary:

Laws against cyberbullying have been in place for quite some time though they were introduced after many such cases were highlighted. The rules are designed to protect the victim and keep the case information confidential. The law enforcement authorities should be proactive in the investigation of such a situation unlike in the Amanda Todd case where the police were slow in taking action and did not consider the matter important which ultimately cost the life of an innocent kid.

 4. Conclusion

Cyberbullying is a serious issue, and it can be truly horrific to go through such a difficult period. Staying strong and fighting back is the only option against these bullies. It’s possible to get over it and live your life again. Seeing a counselor can help the victims handle the incident in a better and a safe way. Life does not get over if you are a victim of cyberbullying and it is possible to fight back.

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Statistics regarding cases of cyberbullying:

According to the US Department of Justice, in the year 2010 to 2011, 9% of the total students aged between 12 and 18 were cyberbullied.

A survey conducted the year 2012; it was found that almost 55.2% of students belonging to the LGBTQ community were cyberbullied. Over the past years the rate of cyberbullying has increased, and in the year 2016, a survey found that the number of people who have faced cyberbullying at least once in their lifetime doubled from about 18% to nearly 34%.

This is evidence of how rampant cyberbullying is becoming. By the year the percentage of high school students who were bullied had become 5%, and the percentage of middle school students who had become victims of cyberbullying was 24%. Through the help of several surveys, it was found that girls were targeted more than boys in cases of cyberbullying.

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