i) Children and Teens – These are often the victims of Cyberbullying, or perhaps the bullies themselves. As with regular bullying, this isn’t really an issue among adults.
ii) Parents – Concerned about the safety and well being of their children
iii) Schools – They feel that they are responsible for such behavior, even outside of school
i) Over the past few years, there have been countless news segments and documentaries discussing the tragedy known as Cyberbullying, but is it really as much of a problem as it’s been made out to be. On one hand, it has largely impacted the lives of some young children, but research suggests that this isn’t occurring as frequently as we might think. Another thing that must be called into question is the severity of a bullies impact when their means of harm is through the internet.
i) While Cyberbullying is a serious problem within our society, it is much of a lesser frequency and severity than it is portrayed to have. (I know this is biased but I’m not sure how to word it so that it’s not)
2) Main Idea #1 (In defense of Cyberbullying being an issue)
a) Extends the range or normal bullying outside of school; kids must continue to deal with harassment from bullies even when they are home. This is physiologically devastating to many kids because they feel that they cannot escape their torment.
b) Bullying leads to many suicides, and Cyberbullying only worsens this problem. In 2012, Cyberbullying directly led to at least 9 suicides.
c) With the growth of Social Media and online interaction, it seems like the problem can only get worse as more and more kids direct their social interactions to occur through the internet.
3) Main Idea #2 (Cyberbullying is overrated)
a) Studies were done, encompassing over 450,000 students at 1,300 school, and it turned out that Cyberbullying is occurring much less frequently than many people believed. About 5% of students reported being Cyberbullied at some point.
b) 90% of these students reported also being bullied in school. One could argue that Cyberbullying is much less of an issue here; Bullies at school can’t really be escaped because they are physically present. Many kids don’t realize that if they are being verbally abused online they can simply block their bully or turn off the computer
c) Another point is that many people, even adults, are often mean over the internet. That’s simply the nature of the internet. People are much more willing to be verbally abusive behind a keyboard. Children that aren’t prepared for this kind of unfiltered speech possibly shouldn’t be using the internet anyway.
a) Ethically, Cyberbullying is wrong from all angles
b) However, the internet is a dangerous place as is , and whether it be a bully from school or some random person from the internet, people are very willing to say mean things. Children need to realize this and attempt to desensitize themselves from it.
c) On the other hand, telling kids and teens to “either get over it, or don’t use the internet” isn’t something that will actually happen. They are going to continue to be harmed by bullies outside of school. The only real solution is to stop bullying as a whole which is simply impossible.
a) My thoughts: Personally, I think Cyberbullying isn’t as big of a deal as it seems to be. I remember it being talked about several times throughout middle school, and every time I was upset by the apparent lack of understanding of the adults reporting the information to us. While bullying is a real problem, Cyberbullying isn’t, or shouldn’t be. Blocking is a feature for a reason. Turning off the computer or your phone is an option. Deactivate your Facebook account if it becomes that serious. There are too many ways around it for it to be taken so seriously.
b) Concluding remark – I don’t disregard bullying. Bullying is, has been, and always will be a real problem that a lot of kids deal with, but Cyberbullying shouldn’t be something that has to occur if kids and teens are smart about their online usage.