Free Essay

Cyberbullying

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By gmcclarine
Words 1517
Pages 7
Essay One; HUMN 344 698
Essay One; HUMN 344 698
08
Fall
08
Fall

Introduction
Over the last decade, rapid technological advances affect every aspect of human life. Significant the most prolific technological advancement is the introduction of the worldwide web, more commonly known as the Internet. The Internet has provided mankind with luxuries such as; remote banking, distant learning for students, shopping for household goods and clothes, and countless other amenities. Therefore, just considering the technology of the Internet upon its own merits, the Internet demonstrates an evasive technology that is not only a luxury to some areas of industry it is an economic necessity. Also, considering the advent of social media vehicles such as; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, technology enables anyone to have the potential to access to platforms for sharing their opinions. When one has access to a platform opinions and comments are created that can be both powerful and scathing for the good or bad. In extreme instances, becoming more commonplace, options and comments expressed can turn into threating harassment. In turn, many are experiencing a continuous pattern of “digital harassment” called cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is determined to be a new cause of fear in our society, especially in younger generations and adolescents. The narrative of this paper will discuss cyberbullying, its negative influence through the use of modern technology, and the ethical/social implications of that negative influence. How the technology of the Internet and social media use by adolescents causes mental health issues through cyberbullying, a negative and evasive ethical and social implication of technological use.
Cyberbullying
The term cyberbullying has been used more frequently in the past ten years, but what is actually considered cyberbullying? According to Hinduja and Patchin, cyberbullying is willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices. The authors breakdown each term and how it relates to cyberbullying; willful- is not accidental, repeated- is a pattern of behavior that happens more than one time, harm- the victim must perceive that harm was inflicted, and electronic devices- is what differentiates cyberbullying from traditional bullying (Patchin & Hinduja, 2015). Technology has been around since the beginning of time and has assisted with making life more efficient every time a new invention is made. However, the double-edge nature of modern technology has a fine balance between risks and opportunities, specifically manifested into a social problem, known as cyberbullying. In 2010 over 97% of children in the United States had access to the Internet. Sixty six (66%) of the 97% children had access to the Internet in the comfort of their own bedroom (Notar, Padgett, & Roden, 2013).
Negative Influence with Modern Technology
The Internet affords positive opportunities for adolescents in different forums or support groups that allow them to express their feelings and emotions on a particular topic and/or hobby. Use of social media via support groups allows the adolescent to interact with individuals like themselves when they may feel isolated by their immediate social surroundings. In contrast to traditional bullying, cyberbullying enables certain perpetrators to have anonymity or “hide” behind an electronic device and harass or threaten other users. These perpetrators use social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter or blogs to harass and demean other users. The effects of the actions of the perpetrators literally mimic the deep effects of physical abuse. Harassment also comes in the form of not only social media, but via cell phone calls and text messaging. These electronic threats and harassment prove more pervasive than traditional bullying. Within traditional bullying the victim usually sees their aggressor during school day hours. Due to Internet and social media access being unlimited, a potential access of 24 hours per day, the victim is subjected to more bullying outside of school because social media is the way children communicate and socialize with their peers in modern day (Notar, Padgett, & Roden, 2013).
Forums and support groups are created via the Internet and social media for teens to help express themselves in an unbiased and supportive setting are a positive use of the Internet technology. Unfortunately, social media has a side unhealthy for teens and can result in self-harm and even suicide. Suicide is the second most common cause of death for young people worldwide and the most common cause in females ages 15-19. Since Internet usage has increased globally 566.4% from December 2000 to June 2012 this has shown some of the negative influences that are inherent with modern technology (Daine, et al., 2013). According to Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder and Lattanner, the effects of cyberbullying are in abundance. Some of the most notable effects seen in cyber-victims can range from anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse and slew of other of mental health diagnoses. Surprisingly, these outcomes have not only been associated with the victim, but the perpetrator as well. An explanation for this could quite possibly be that the perpetrator was actually a victim of cyberbullying at one point in his/her life (Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder, & Lattanner, 2014).
Ethics
Disturbingly, even though the Internet and modern social media craze is ramped in adolescents, a prescribed and codified code of Internet conduct is lacking, or in cases where certain sites to have a code such codes are rarely enforced. Therefore, there is no uniform mechanism in place to police, and disciple adolescent actions on the Internet that lead to those who participate in cyberbullying. In a random selected study conducted in Canada in 2008, via a 5-point Likert type survey, found that students in Grades 7 to 12 have different behaviors about what is and what is not cyberbullying. Out of a sample population of 267 students, about one in seven students actually chose to join in when cyberbullying was occurring and one in eight cheered on the cyberbullying. Less than 10% of the sample reported an incident to someone who could have helped the victim. Another significant finding that was revealed was that one in three students believed that what happens online should stay online. These numbers reveal what today adolescents’ moral compass really says. Qing Li, the author of the study, suggested that students and adolescents be instilled with responsible behavior, moral, and ethics at the earliest age possible to prevent future cyberbullying incidents (Li, 2010).
In 2012, Vincent Miller authored an article detailing the ethics of people in today’s society using electronic communication devices. The conclusion of his critical-evaluation suggested that people present two totally different ethical behaviors in presence and in absence. Essentially, ethical behavior tends to get lost and discontinued in the midst of anonymity. Feelings and empathy are forgone and social responsibility to take someone’s feelings into account is weakened for the sake of trolling. Miller calls for a push of real regulation of Internet and interpersonal social behavior to bring ethical responsibility back into context (Miller, 2012).
Conclusion
After researching one of many modern technologies the Internet stands out because it provides an excellent way to gather information much quicker and effectively. Commerce and Industry need the Internet and social media to survive and advance. However, the affect that social media has on adolescents is detrimental in most cases because individuals are using this magnificent and efficient technology to “hide” behind their electronic device; therefore, producing negative effect from the original intention of such technology. Modern technology has given bullies access to their victims 24 hours a day. Further, cyberbullying has some adolescents experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Some point to the parental unit as the means to address and resolve the ethical and social issue of cyberbullying. Here the focus is parents gaining more control over the behavior of their children and teaching that intolerance of these negative actions early in life. The idea of early detection on the part of the parental unit and teaching children proper Internet etiquette and ethics early on will in turn drastically reduce the number of teen suicides/mental health issues caused by cyberbullying.

Works Cited

Daine, K., Hawton, K., Singaravelu, V., Stewart, A., Simkin, S., & Montgomery , P. (2013, October 30). The Power of the Web: A Systematic Review of Studies of the Influence of the Internet on Self-Harm and Suicide in Young People. PLOS One , 8(10), 1-7.

Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattanner, M. R. (2014). Bullying in the Digital Age: A Critical Review and Meta-Analysis of Cyberbullying Research Among Youth. American Psychological Association, 140(4), 1037-1137.

Li, Q. (2010). Cyberbulling in High Schools: A Study of Students' Behaviors and Beliefs about This New Phenomenon. Journal of Aggression, 372-392.

Miller, V. (2012). A Crisis of Presence: On-line Culture and Being in the World . Space and Polity, 265-285.

Notar, C. E., Padgett, S., & Roden, J. (2013). Cyberbullying: A Review of the Literature. Universal Jornal of Educational Research, pp. 1-9.

Patchin, J., & Hinduja, S. (2015). Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying (2nd Edition ed.). (A. Burvikovs, Ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA, United States of America: Corwin Company.

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