Cyberbullying: Bullying and Social Networking Sites Essay

Submitted By amberholbrook
Words: 1061
Pages: 5

The Dangers of..
BULLYING Permanence: The insults, comments or images can be preserved by the person who was bullied or by others so that the victim may read or view them over and over again and the harm is re-inflicted with each reading or viewing.

Audience size: The size of the audience that is able to view or access the damaging material increases the victim’s humiliation.

Familiarity: Many young people are friends with or know their cyber bully either through school or other personal connections, increasing the potential for embarrassment and humiliation.

Social Networking: Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow cyber bullies to engage in campaigns against a particular person which may involve many others.

Speed: The speed at which harmful messages can reach large audiences also plays a major part in making cyberbullying so damaging to the targets.

Results of Cyberbullying include:

Hurt feelings
Depression or other more serious mental health problems
Low self-esteem
Inability to trust in others

If Result Is Taken To Extreme:

Withdrawal, seclusion, avoidance of social relationships
Poor academic performance
Bullying others – to feel in control
In extreme cases – Suicide. Rachael Neblett and Ryan Patrick Halligan are two youngsters that committed suicide, and their suicide has been connected to cyberbullying. Other similar cases have been documented.

Impulsive Behaviors
Kids who are impulsive tend not to think before they act. They have a hard time hitting the 'pause' button, and often race right from "That's a cool idea" to jumping into behaviors without any in-between steps. Most teens are prone to this kind of thinking, but certain kids have a longer history of springing into action without considering the consequences. The Internet allows them to turn thought into action at lightning speed, and impulsive teens are more likely to say or do something online that they will later regret. Risk Taking
Although the teen years almost always involve experimenting, some kids are naturally prone to pushing limits. They're often the first to try alcohol or drugs, or to take physical risks for the sheer thrill of it. They love stimulation, and the internet provides them endless possibilities to explore and try new things. Much of this can be harmless, but kids with a predisposition to taking risks are likely to test the boundaries of what is socially acceptable online, and can put themselves and other kids at risk with inappropriate chatter about sexual exploits, violence or bullying behavior.

Social Insecurity
Adolescents are all concerned about their social status and where they stand in relation to their peers. Kids who are insecure are more likely to raise the level of competition online, and may go too far in trying to one-up their classmates or friends. This type of jockeying can be common in the "popular" crowd and other groups, and is more prevalent in school environments that encourage intense competition and achievement.

Teens that don't have many solid connections to other kids may turn to social networking sites and chat rooms to re-invent themselves and to develop friendships. They may try on new identities in the hope that they will seem more appealing to their peers or to strangers they meet online. Lonely adolescents can sometimes let their guard down, leaving them vulnerable to being led on or humiliated by more savvy or manipulative classmates or adults. Alternatively, kids who are isolated may view the Internet as a place to exact revenge, and to strike back against kids who have slighted them in the past.

Adolescent depression is often dismissed as