Cyber Bullying Essay

Submitted By jman12334
Words: 2313
Pages: 10

Bullying Goes Viral American culture has changed vastly from technology. The last decade and a half have brought The United States into a period know as “The Digital Age.” From the start of this Digital Age, bullying has increased drastically through the use of social media sites. Children and young adults are cowering behind computer screens and damaging other’s lives; meanwhile, the older generations aren’t noticing. Young children growing up in the Digital Age are the first to experience this type of modern bullying and the older generation doesn’t know how to respond. Before the Digital Age, bullying started and stopped in school. Bullying is embedded in human nature are will always be present. According to critically acclaimed evolutionist, Charles Darwin, it is the strongest and most adaptable organism that will survive. Therefore, it is natural for humans to bully in order to create a dominant presence. According to The United States Department of Health and Human Services, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both children who are bullied and who bully others have serious, lasting problems, such as, depression and anxiety. Since the start of the Digital Age, bullying has taken a new form. Today, bullying follows the children home. Cyber bullying is a bigger form of bullying, in the sense that students are no longer safe in their own homes. Cyber bullying has gotten so bad in some young adults lives that victims are taking matters into their own hands by committing suicide because they feel as if no one can help them. The Digital Age has advanced the crudity of the bully by providing him or her with a mask. Cases of online public harassment, in which bullies are causing victims to become depressed or even harm themselves, are happening more and more frequently as the popularity of social media amongst young adults increases. This abuse is called cyber bullying. In her 2007 book Generation Myspace, Candice Kelsey, a board member of The United States Department of Education and co-founder of a private school in California, documents cases of this modern horror. Kelsey explains cyber bullying as nothing short of social terror by technology that is not going away (108). Cyber bullying, or technology based taunting, can range from the hurtful to the vicious. This abuse takes place over the social media site, Myspace. Kelsey explains how the older generation, adults who grew up before internet, don’t understand cyber bullying. Kelsey states, “Many adults associate threats with a physical presence only...what [adults] fail to realize is that the bully is not some random faceless stranger, but many times a schoolmate who intensifies his taunts or carries out his threats during class and after school.” Much of Kelsey’s research comes straight from interviews of children and/or their parents. In Generation Myspace, Kelsey tells the story of John Halligan. He is a father of thirteen year old Ryan, who committed suicide as a result of cyber bullying. John found out after his son’s funeral that online, Ryan was being called gay. A popular girl pretended to like Ryan and engaged him in instant message conversations, and then embarrassed and humiliated him by sharing their private conversations with others. She later called him a loser and that she wanted nothing to do with him. Ryan told her that it was girls like her that made him want to kill himself. Ryan’s story is a prime example of the fragility of life and the destructiveness of cyber bullying. Professional surveys from Stanford University and the United States Department of Justice also document this injustice with concrete statistics. For example, fifty-eight percent of teens admit someone has said cruel or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten of those