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Oliveros 1

Irene Oliveros

Professor Jennifer Rodrick

English 115

4 October 2017


Social networking was created in order to provide our society with beneficial features

that had never been heard of in previous times of need. However, one does not have to look far

in order to realize that the advancements in our technology today have only helped to take

bullying to an extreme. Anyone who is familiar with the concept of social media and uses it

frequently knows what cyberbullying is and the affects it could have on an individual. The

reason behind this is because it is so prevalent in the lives of people today. These issues are

prevalent because of the fact that people are constantly increasing the amount of time that they

are spending on technology. This exposes them to the harassment, threats, impersonations, and

humiliation that is so ubiquitous in the virtual world. The internet is supposed to be a way in

which people can skim through their interests and get away. This has been halted because the act

of bullying has spread onto the internet. People now turn to the virtual world and pretend to have

bolder identities to hurt people, with real confrontation left at a minimum. Cyberbullying could

include anything from harsh emails, pictures, or even texts away from social media. This is a

very urgent problem that can cause victims to loose confidence and deal with possible disorders,

and the perpetrators to continue this violence due to neglect.

These days cyberbullying is easy to get away with due to the fact that there is an option to

be anonymous. Technology has been advancing at such high levels that anonymity is achievable

and not beneficial whatsoever when it comes to online bullying. Bullying in person is a lot easier
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to address because its visible and requires a lot more communication on both ends. However,

when it comes down to the virtual world, confrontation is a lot less necessarily. The act of

bullying through social media has been known to decrease an individuals confidence in

themselves. Often times, social media is used as a means of expressing ones self. When this is

restricted by harsh words based on social standards, it can cause really deleterious affects

towards ones ego. Many times the main reason behind cyberbullying occurring is because of

appearance, therefore, girls are the ones who are usually targeted. In previous times and

continuing on today, girls often received comments about being fat, while among boys, it was

common to receive comments about looking or seeming gay (New Body Image Research

2694). The reason behind a lot of teenagers committing this act is because they want to be able to

fit in. Societies unrealistic standards make it very difficult for people to sway away from

believing in the same kind of perfection. The worst part about this is that when nothing is done

about the issue, it negatively affects the victim as well as bystanders. This is as a result of

learning negative behaviors by simply observing whats in front of their eyes. In figure one

Fig. 1 Cyberbullying Among Adolescents

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In the image above you can see how the number of women who are bullied on social media is

significantly larger than the males. This only emphasizes the fact that more pressure is put on

women these days to impress everyone and meet societies views of perfection. This can

ultimately end up leading to major faults in ones true identity. Reasoning behind this is the fact

that females especially begin to feel forced to fit in, which ultimately turns them into someone

they arent.

A common misconception that a lot of people have is that bullying only usually occurs

with children. There are even movies where you see usually the kids are the ones who are

running from bullies and the parents or older siblings are always there to protect. This is a

problem because, some people might think of it as just part of being a kid [] being bullied is

very common- but its not normal (#Endbullying 4). The problem with this is that when

someone who is older is actually being bullied its not given much attention to vs. the kids who

are already known to be treated that way. There is no one to protect students in college, young

adults, or even adults when it comes to these kinds of scenarios. This is of course, unless

someone reports a very serious case. Otherwise, it would be classified as unimportant and not

even addressed by law enforcement. There are studies that show that a lot of college students

struggle with the issue of cyber bullying and it imposes a lot of negativity in their minds.

Approximately, 799 college students surveyed via the internet, 8.6 were victims of

cyberbullying (Schenk 21). The fact that cyber bullying also targets older people can cause
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major disorders. Most people end up with severe depression or even anxiety. This doesnt mean

that there arent any people who dont get seriously sick from this.

Fig. 2 Prevalence & Psychological Impact

In figure two above, all the several illnesses that can occur due to cyberbullying are visible. The

way that these illnesses can change a person and their identity is inevitable. Depression seems to

be the number one problem with most people and in severe cases of depression it could

sometimes lead to suicide. Cyberbullying is the number one thing society should focus on

preventing because it connects to so many other things that are not beneficial to us such as

gender roles, lack in confidence, social standards, etc.

When the issue of cyberbullying is discussed, most of the time there is not much talk

about the perpetrator. All of the attention is focused on the victim. It is important to address the

way in which technology advancements today have changed who people are. If more people

acknowledged this they would be able to see that most people who bully online are either trying

to fit in to the crowd, or they are dealing with their own type of frustrations. If there is

analyzation at the root of the issue it becomes easier to do something about it. Often times when

around a perpetrator he will, whip out something on his smartphone or laptop or iPad, and in
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anger or frustration, he will hit the send button [] between the emotion and the response,

people do not take enough time to reflect (Nash 8). This statement proves that sometimes

people bully out of the simple fact that they cannot control their emotions. If one goes on social

media, there is a guaranteed chance that they will see someone ranting about their day or being

sad. This is what humans do. However, this does not justify ones action to dehumanize another

human being.

In essence, cyberbullying is an issue that affects everyone in our current day. Anyone

from a child, to a full grown adult could be negatively approached by the online world. This is

not to get misunderstood as the internet being a horrible place. The internet is a wonderful way to

connect with long lost friends and loved ones who may live somewhere across the country.

Cyberbullying is an issue that needs to continue to be addressed because of how much it can take

a toll on an individual and their perception on themselves. A lot of the time, people dont try to

understand why it is that the perpetrator performs certain actions. Many dont realize that the

internet and social media gives people the opportunity to change their identity, into someone

who is much bolder and blunt with words than anyone could ever imagine. This in turn leaves

the victims of cyberbullying with long lasting unseen scars. The risk of suicide increases along

with the chance of developing a disorder or major depression. On top of this, when people are

bullied online for the way that they look or speak, it makes them want to change who they are in

order to be more accepted. Then it just turns into a never ending cycle of people using

technology in the way it was not intended or created for. The public needs to exercise their

freedom of speech with positive words. Using freedom of speech in order to be demeaning or

dehumanize someone is unnecessary when it could just be used to end cyberbullying and stand
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up for others instead. Cyberbullying has been a topic of conversation for years now. Its time that

society starts to take a stand and confront the issues that the world has gotten so numb towards.
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Works Cited

"Cyberbullying Among Adolescents, by Gender." Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Gale,

2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,

21eb. Accessed 4 Oct. 2017.

#EndBullying. Camping Magazine, March.-Apr. 2015, p. 4+. General OneFile,

&u=csunorthridge&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&authCount=1. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.

Nash, Kim. When Emotion Hijacks the Brain: Management consultant Doug Lennick says

morally intelligent leaders build high-performing, innovative companies. Framingham,

info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=7285. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.

New Body Image Research Findings from University of Gothenburg Outlined (Apperance-

related cyberbullying: A qualitative investigation of characteristics, content, reasons, and

effects). Health & Medicine Week, 19 Dec. 2014, p.2694. Health Reference Center


%7CA398735912&v=2.1&u=csunorthridge&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w. Accessed 3 Oct.


Schenk, Allison. Prevalence,Psychological Impact, and Coping of Cyberbully Victims Among

College Students. Journal of School Violence, March. 2012, p.21. EBSCOhost,


Whvc3QtbGl2ZQ %3d%3d# AN=78222828&db=ehh. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.