Contemporary Social Problems
7 December 2014
Since legislation is usually an innate response to the rise of any sort of crime or problem, in the case of cyber-bullying, laws are not the most significant changes that need to be made. The awareness and understanding of cyber-bullying needs to drastically change in order for those individuals who are bullied online to be taken seriously, this number would be higher. Statistics show that only one in every ten victims of cyber-bullying will notify a parent or trusted guardian about the bullying that is taken place. Perchance, if more sufferers thought that their parents or guardians would take their alleges of cyber-bullying more sincerely, this number would increase. On the sad note, when most youngsters say that they are a victim of bullying, particularly online, adults tell them to disregard them, that words are just words, or to just turn off their computer or cell phone. However, cyber-bullying cannot be unnoticed, words have more control than you think, and turning devices off does not by any means stop bullying. Awareness about cyber-bullying need to be changed immediately and adults need to understand how technology has changed the experience of bullying for adolescents.
As the internet and technology continue to grow every day, all fifteen states have passed laws related to cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment laws. Despite the fact that the term “cyber-bullying” is occasionally used interchangeably with the term cyber-harassment, concentrating on cyber-bullying involves the execution of separate legislation because cyber-bullying has affect on the harassment of students within a school setting. As of today, just thirty-five states have gone through with this legislation or created administrative orders that tackle cyber-bullying. In the year of 2009, the Megan Meier Cyber-Bullying Prevention Act was established. This legislation would have modified Title 18 of the United States Code in order to inflict criminal consequences for cyber-bullying. Unfortunately, this legislation never pulled through and failed in committee. This legislation could have been passed in order to battle cyber-bullying were taken more sincerely by legislators and the community, who can rally their legislators in order to make the change that they wish to see happen.
This research paper will discuss the following topic about cyber-bullying: the differences between traditional bullying and cyber-bullying, the effects that cyber-bullying has on victims, schools’ responses to cyber-bullying, and how to change the current understanding of cyber-bullying. Current perceptions of cyber-bullying will be included throughout the paper.
It is vital to understand the differences between traditional bullying and cyber-bullying in order to understand why cyber-bullying is such a vast problem and why changes need to be made. Bullying is a venerable problem among adolescents and young adults, especially in a school setting. Bullying is defined as: “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, overtime. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose” ( ) Although bullying has been an ongoing reoccurrence, the rise and speedy growth of technology in the twenty-first century has caused the Internet to become the new boundary of bullying, cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is defined as: “bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.” ( ) The rise of technology has led eighty-one percent of adolescents and young adults questioned to