February 7th, 2015
Abstract Social Networking is a very big part of children, teenagers, adolescents and young adult’s lives. Social Networks have become a large part of these young adults social interaction with each other. Social interactions online can be considered the use of many different social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter; gaming sites and virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Second Life, and the Sims; video sites such as YouTube; and blogs. A very large and potentially very damaging issue with social networking and young adults is cyberbullying on social networks. Cyberbullying can lead to potentially damaging actions that can affect children, teens, adolescents, and young adults in a very negative way, therefore parents should become very aware of the nature of social media sites, given that not all of them are healthy environments for children, teens, adolescents, and young adults. This paper will explain cyberbullying on social networks along with the ins and outs of cyberbullying including legalities. There will be techniques to use to help prevent cyberbullying and also techniques for children that have already been victims to cyberbullying.
“Cyberbullying on Social Networks”
What is cyberbullying? According to oxforddictionaries.com cyberbullying is, “use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature,”(2015). There are many definitions describing cyberbullying but for it to be “true” cyberbullying, these practices must meet several criteria. First a perpetrator intends to hurt a victim and the victim should perceive it as being hurtful and that is part of a repetitive pattern of negative offline or online actions. This should be performed in a relationship characterized by a power imbalance. It should be based on a real power criteria which is physical strength or age and/or an ICT-related criteria such as a technological know-how and anonymity, (Vandebosch, Van Cleemput, 2008).
Bullying on Social Media Now that we have defined cyberbullying we can determine what constitutes bullying on Social Media. Children, teens, adolescents, and young adults as well as mature adults use social media websites as a type of socializing with friends, family, and strangers online. It is one of the most used types of websites by teenagers and young adults. These websites are commonly used for both bad purposes and good. To understand which type of behavior constitutes social media bullying than it can help a parent and child determine if they have become a victim so that they can handle it appropriately. Many of these acts are similar to real-life bullying such as negative comments, abusiveness, and making fun of another person, however cyberbullying will consist of posting negative comments on the victim’s pictures, posting abusive posts to the victim’s wall, and the use of pictures or videos to make fun of the victim. The result of cyberbullying on a social media is similar to real-life bullying, (2014).
More Social Media Bullying One very popular social network site is Facebook and according to a report by the Washington Post nine out of ten users of Facebook have witnessed bullying on this particular social media site. According to nobully.com, “a report by Ditch the Label also showed that 54 percent of those surveyed claimed to experience bullying on this same site.”(2014). Teaching your children to restrict access through their Facebook profile to those they know and are close to does not protect them from bullying. People that care about your children have the capacity to hurt them. Other social networking sites are becoming the breeding ground for bullies and bullying behavior. Ask.FM has had a difficult time controlling and stopping serious bullying behavior problems amongst teenagers on this site. Of course SnapChat creates