We Are Against Cyberbullying

Technological developments are something that we as citizens cannot avoid. These developments will continue to rise together with the advancement of science. Technology today has made an impact in our everyday lives. Technology offers many advances in the world. Ramey stated “Technology is a body of knowledge devoted to creating tools, processing actions and the extracting of materials” (Ramey, “What Is Technology-Meaning of Technology and Its Uses”). From this statement, we can conclude that technology is needed in order to learn and improve.

We are using technology in order to accomplish something and solve problems in our daily lives. One of the technologies that are familiar with us nowadays is called “internet”. Based on the dictionary, “Internet is a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide. The Internet includes commercial, educational, governmental, and other networks, all of which use the same set of communications protocols” (“Internet”). Internet is a network that is capable in uploading billions of data and information around the world with its abundant benefits especially in the education field.

The benefits are to help students get references for their process of learning, as a communication tool with each other, etc.

Allowing students to connect with professionals outside of the immediate school campus, permitting communications on an international level that can be done through basic applications such as e-mail, as well as video conferencing are the ideal condition for the usage of Internet. With distance learning available, students can take a larger range of classes, and schools can make up for the curriculum deficiencies.

Pierre believes that “Any time a student uses the Internet, they rely on a basic keyword search. This search ensures they find websites or database results that contain information relevant to what they are studying” (Pierre, “How the Internet Benefits Students and Schools”). Those are all of the benefits of Internet, surely beneficial. While there are several advantages to using technology to enhance education, the usages of Internet are being misused a lot.

We are all familiar to the idea of “Cyber bullying”. Cyber bullying often occurs among teenagers. For those who don’t know what cyber bullying is, it is a form of violence experienced by children until teenager. In fact may be carried out by their own friend via the Internet. Cyber itself has a meaning of “Cyber is a prefix used in a growing number of terms to describe new things that are being made possible by the spread of computers. Anything related to the Internet also falls under the cyber category” (Beal, “What is Cyber?”). Today, the majority of people, particularly young people between age of 12 to 18 spend more time on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and the like. This is where we break down the case. Internet was supposed to be giving advantages for students, meanwhile a lot of cyber bully happens. Cyber bullying is a situation where a person is being insulted, intimidated, humiliated, through Internet media, digital technology, or cell phones. It’s an “online” bullying.

The people who were involved when a case of cyber bullying is happening are the victims, the perpetrators, and the “cyber bystander”. The perpetrators, a person or person’s that is doing it, the aggressor who’s using digital media tools (such as the Internet and cell phone). Their purpose is to upset or harass their “target or victim”. Which means that the victim is the person who is being cyber bullied. As I mentioned, the bystanders. They are the kids who are aware that something cruel is going on but stays on their sidelines. 60% of young people have witnessed online bullying, but instead standing up and helping out the victims, they chose to shut their mouth. Why are they being quiet is either because of their indifferences or because they’re afraid of being socially isolated or becoming a target themselves.

Then there are the kids who act as the up standers. These are the kids who actively tries to break the cycle, whether by sticking up for the victim, addressing the bully directly, or telling the adults about what’s going on, and helping the target. The up standers are the people we mostly need in this Internet world. They are the ones that keep our future safe.

When someone has been bullied, they often seek revenge instead of healing with the situation in un-violence ways. The motivation for these victims of bullying is to retaliate for the pain they have experienced. When this happens, these kids are often referred to as bully-victims. Bully-victims feel justified in their actions because they, have been harassed and tormented too. They want others to feel what they have felt and feel justified in doing so. By cyber bullying others, they also may feel a sense of relief for what they experienced. These kids will sometimes even go after the bully directly. Other times, they will target someone whom they perceive to be weaker or more vulnerable than them. Cyber bully also thinks that because a lot of people are doing it, then they’ll follow. They might think that it would be cool, strong and tough to bully someone online. In their minds, it doesn’t seem like a problem because their other friends accept the behavior. Why cyber bully exactly? Because they believe that they are safe behind screen without revealing your own identity.

People might assume that cyber bullying is a proof of a social status. Kids who believe that they are popular chose to harass people that are “less popular”. They use the Internet to perpetuate aggression and the “mean girl behavior”. They also will spread rumors and gossip and may even exclude (resulting in someone feeling left out) others through cyber bullying. Meanwhile, kids who are trying to climb the social ladder at school or gain some social power will use cyber bullying to get attention. They also might cyber bully to “cancel” the social status of another person. DoSomething.org reports that only 1 in 10 children who experience cyber bullying will report it to their parent or an adult.

E-mail is incredibly popular through out children and teens. The Pew Research Center reports that 64% of teens use email to communicate with their friends. E-mail is a tool to connect with friends, but it’s also a dangerous tool in the hands of bullies. With a single click, bullies can also send private info’s to large groups at once. Cyber bullying also happens in the most popular media platform. Instagram is the social media site where most young people report experiencing cyber bullying, with 42% of those surveyed experiencing harassment on the platform. Most students either has their own cell phones or devices that can receive texts. With the ability to send and receive texts at all times, targets cannot escape the cruelty of bullies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Some computers provide the ability to access text messaging services like line, whatsapp, etc. This means that they can send and receive harmful messages even when they’re doing school works. Some media platform has the ability to set the accounts privacy (who’s allowed to see you social media activity). This made cyber bullies to think that their parents, teachers or adults, would not find out.

“John and Kelly Halligan lost their thirteen year old son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Essex Junction, Vermont. After Ryan’s death, it was revealed that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line.” Stated by puresight.com, a thirteen-year-old boy chose to kill himself after being bullied at school also online. About 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. 30% have had it happen more than once. This case happened at October 7, the year 2003. His father found out when he logged in to his son’s social media account to see if whether there were any clues to his final paction or not. Turns out, several of his classmates told the father of the bullying and cyber bullying that took place during the months that led up to his suicide. The bullies spread around rumors of Ryan everywhere throughout months.

Based on Gordon, “Victims of cyber bullying often find it difficult to feel safe” (Gordon, “The Effects of Cyber bullying: Common Effects and Feelings Associated with Cyber Bullying”). This means that once someone is bullied, it will be hard for him or her to heal and cope. They no longer have a place where they can escape. To a victim, it feels like bullying is everywhere. Gordon also stated that Victims of cyber bullying often suffer anxiety, depression and other stress-related conditions. Cyber bullying increases the risk of suicide. Kids that are constantly humiliated by peers through text messages, instant messaging, social media, and other platforms, often begin to feel hopeless. They may even begin to feel like the only way to escape through the pain is by suicide. As a result, they may think about ending their life in order to escape their tormentors.

Cyber bullying occurs more commonly than parents or adults realize. Students often attempt to deal with the situations themselves without any companion or guides. This may work in some circumstances. However, the toll that cyber bullying takes on mental health can be devastating. Take precautions such as educating students on the permanence and public nature of the Internet. It is important they understand that everything you post anywhere can be found, and it can never be fully taken off the internet. However, with guidance from parents and trusted adults, teens can learn safe digital habits that they can take with them throughout life. For a start if you saw someone violating ethical behavior online we should call him or her out. Then it comes down to education, self-management and teaching teens so that they can be responsible adults.

The only good thing from cyber bullying is that you can always capture the shape of the bully and turn it into evidence. It can also be saved and shown to professionals or trusted ones to be investigated further so that they can help make things better. If anyone who is reading this right now, if you feel like you are being bullied you can always reach out for help. Find someone who can listen, helps you to process everything that’s happening, figure out what is going on and what to do and work through it. Find someone who understands you and is willing to help you no matter how hard it is. If someone you know is being bullied, always take action. Being a bystander can empower the culprit and does nothing to help. The best thing you can do is try to stop the bullying by taking a stand against it. If you can’t stop it, support the person being bullied. In conclusion, cyber bullying should be stop.

I, as a digital citizen will always respect each other as if in real life. I should always think twice before posting. As a highscope student, I am familiar with Habits of empowerment. Like habits of empowerment point 7 “think, act and reflect” I will try my best in implementing it in my daily life. Habits of empowerment itself have a meaning of “Habits are behaviors we choose both consciously and subconsciously. They define the outcome of our days. Positive habits give us better advantages than bad habits, and the most powerful habits are the ones that begin with understanding and controlling your thoughts. Each can be quickly adapted and easily applied — as long as the ego does not overrule your desires” (Groover, “7 Habits for an Empowered Life; Continued Awareness Brings You Closer and Closer to The New Habit Becoming your Standard Operating Procedure and Providing a Greater Sense of Peace and Happiness”). Pause for a moment and ask yourself, ”How would I feel if this was about me?” before you click send and post.

Bibliography

  1. “Tips to Help Stop Cyberbullying.” Connectsafely.org. Connect Safely. May 7, 2018. https://www.connectsafely.org/tips-to-help-stop-cyberbullying/. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  2. Groover, Jen. “7 Habits for an Empowered Life.” Huffpost.com. Huff Post. Sept 12, 2013. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/positive-habits_b_3551912. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  3. Woda, Tim. “Understanding Cyberbullying: Why it Happens and How to Prevent it.” Resources.uknowkids.com. You Know Kids. Apr 2, 2019. https://resources.uknowkids.com/blog/understanding-cyberbullying-why-it-happens-and-how-to-prevent-it. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  4. Jan, Emma. “Where Does Cyberbullying happen?” learnsafe.com. LearnSafe. Jan 25, 2018. https://learnsafe.com/where-does-cyberbullying-happen/. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  5. Hamidah, Titik. “Perilaku Cyberbullying: Bentuk dan Penyebabnya.” Bulletin.k-pin.org. Buletin KPIN. Jun 23, 2018. https://buletin.k-pin.org/index.php/arsip-artikel/278-perilaku-cyberbullying-bentuk-dan-penyebabnya. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  6. Gordon, Sherrin. “8 Reasons Why Kids Cyberbully Others.” Verywellfamily.com. VeryWellFamily. Aug 14, 2019. https://www.verywellfamily.com/reasons-why-kids-cyberbully-others-460553. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  7. Beal, Vangie. “Cyber.” Webopedia.com. Webopedia. https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/cyber.html. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  8. Oktaviani, Kirana. “Apa itu Cyberbullying?” Kompasiana.com. Kompasiana. Sept 25, 2013.https://www.kompasiana.com/kiranaoktaviani/552ff83a6ea8344b778b45d4/apa-itu-cyber-bullying. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  9. “How The Internet Benefit Students and Schools.” Kreolmagazine.com. Kreol. Feb 9, 2015. https://kreolmagazine.com/living/education-learning/how-the-internet-benefits-students-and-schools/#.XWQCjSOF62w. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
  10. Halitzer, Cally. “It’s 2017, Why Is Cyber Bullying Still A Problem?” theodysseyonline.com. Odyssey. Aug 16, 2017. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-cyber-bullying-still-problem. Accessed Aug 27, 2019.
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