If you were one of those kids in the school that have been bullied by other “cooler” kids than this is something for you. I definitely was counted between those of the thirteen years old teenagers that have been bullied all over. Why? first of all, because of my parents, they were entrepreneurs, with not much wealth, but having a company meant that “we were rich” so “I was the rich kid”. It was a lie. But, just try to explain that to a jealous 13 years old, that all our money was invested in that firm…Yeah I think you could guess no chance. Anyhow, the first “bullying factor” was me being the “rich kid”.
The other thing was that in those years my childhood “candy and ice-cream addiction” have shown its effect. So when I was thirteen, I kind of exploded in a very short time. So imagine, considered the “fat and rich child”. That’s right, it was a nightmare. Even I was kind of popular, due to my personality, some “cool” kids, or how they are called now the “haters” could still put me through some daily nightmare. I felt humiliated in many various ways, that let my self-confidence go very very down. But, I was lucky, I was and I am a fighter, so those negative comments made me stronger. I have dropped the pounds and with the life-experiences that I gathered I turned out to be something that many might call “a strong woman”. Anyhow, self-confidence and self-appreciation is something that you have to feed over and over. Sometimes, I still feel like that overweight thirteen years old girl….luckily not that often. Still, if I think about my story I can say I was a lucky one, I grew up in another society that was shaped by another cultural values and somehow the effect of bullying on me was less strong than it would have been in the case of cyberbullying.
Kids can be very cruel sometimes and mean, and the increased explosion to the web and information technology will give them the opportunity to find new ways of bullying. The issue of bullying in schools have gain attention in the US as well. A very good anti-bullying production the documentary Bully captures the lives of five students that have been a victim of bullying on a daily basis. The production have constructed a strong campaign around it that brought the film in many american schools, educated teenagers about the negative effects of bullying. The production was awarded on the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012.
You might ask what cyberbullying means?A very simple definition of this 21st century phenomenon would be the “bullying” in a cyber or online space. Why do I consider that this way of bullying can be devastating? Because in reality, people are not wearing their “online masks” that the internet gives them, in reality most of the people are afraid or think twice when they say something. Online, everybody can be as honest and aggressive as possible.
Unfortunately this new online culture effects more than 30% of the children under the age of 18. Why is more dangerous in their case? Well for a developed, well-constructed personality these factors are temporary, they are easily forgotten and ignored. In fact, for a developing personality these strong negative comments can have strong backwards in the future. Unfortunately, the results are very sad. Many of the children become depressed or commit suicide, as an effect of a cyber humiliation.
Cyber bullying affects many adolescents and teens on a daily basis. It involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person. Cyber bullying can take many forms:
- Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
- Spreading rumors online or through texts
- Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
- Stealing a person’s account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
- Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
- Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
- Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person
Cyber bullying can be very damaging to adolescents and teens. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Also, once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.
Many cyber bullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyber bullies may not realize the consequences for themselves of cyberbullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyber bullies can lose their cell phone or online accounts for cyber bullying. Also, cyber bullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyber bullying, and if the cyber bullying was sexual in nature or involved sexting, the results can include being registered as a sex offender. Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won’t get caught, but there are many ways to track some one who is cyber bullying.
-Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
-More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.
-Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
-Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.
These statistics and trends are unfortunately present all around the world resulting in more and more tragedy.
The weapon of cyber-bullying have ended and made miserable so many precious lives.
If teens have been the victims or perpetuators of cyber bullying they may need to talk to a counselor or therapist to overcome depression or other harmful effects of cyber bullying. It’s unbelievable how little consideration might some have while, spreading so harmful information online.
There are more and more organizations that raise awareness of the issue, and talk about the victims of cyberbullying.
The free internet really means that you can say anything to anyone, and anyhow? I consider that there is the need of a mass-education when it comes to the usage of internet in the circles of children and teenagers, who consider that online anything and everything is possible. It’s hard to predict what will really happen in the near-future, since almost all the 6 years old children are walking around with a smartphone or are plying whit the gadgets of their parents.
One of the good educational campaigns that are trying to raise awareness of the issue and try to educate can be found under the following link, created by stopbullying.org.
The only reasonable solutions that I see is education and online restrictions, otherwise this culture will take more and more victims.
A quite good movie related to the subject is Cyberbully released in 2015.
Watch the trailer here: