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What Is Cyber-Bullying, Effects And How One Can Prevent It? (Essay Sample)


What is cyber-bullying, Effects and how one can prevent it


Cause and Effect of Cyberbullying; Can it be Curbed or Controlled?
Cyberbullying is defined as the act of harassment that is achieved by using electronic technology. Electronic technologies encompass all devices ranging from computers, tablets and cellphones. Cyber bullying is also executed using communication tools and equipment that include social media sites, chat, text messages, blogs and even websites. This essay will explore and discuss the causes, effects and the various way of curbing or controlling cyberbullying as we go about our business in our day to day lives.
The origin of bullying is directly related to the human’s desire to survive that is a natural instinct. Multitudes of different species exist and also a limited number of resources. Since the beginning of time competition has always existed between species to ensure the survival of the fittest and a continued existence. This brings out the desire to overcome obstacles and out-perform others. The forces to overcome resistance and obstacles have flowed in everything including social, education and economic realms CITATION Kow12 \l 1033 (Kowalski, Limber and Agatston). Competitiveness varies across cultures depending on education, traditions and government control. The desire to excel and overcome obstacles eventually morphs a person to learn underhand methods of excelling. To get ahead in highly competitive social and educational environments, several tactics need to be used some good and others underhand. The use of underhand tactics seem innocent at first but once a person learns their effectiveness, they eventually form a lifestyle. The ideology eventually helps to shape the nation where bullying is instilled unintentionally as a tactic of excelling and surviving from a tender age CITATION Hin09 \l 1033 (Hinduja and Patchin).
The advancement in technology in the recent years has revolutionized the communication scene. New gadgets are developed daily that facilitate communication and interconnection of people worldwide. Drastic changes in the telecommunication industry are enhancing new technologies such as voice over IP and fiber optic cables. Optic fiber cables are immune to any electromagnetic interference have led to increasing in bandwidth of the network hence fast communication over long distances via the Internet CITATION Kar13 \l 1033 (Karwoski). The functionality of phones, computers, and tablets has improved regarding popularity hence favoring efficient business communication and efficient connection between family members, friends, and business partners owning cellphones and other technological gadgets.
Advancement in Technology also has a downside in the telecommunication industry. The use of fast technology may also encourage irresponsibility and misuse. Among the downsides of technology are using technology to commit cyber-crimes and cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has been there for a long time and often happens when people use technology irresponsibly to intentionally hurt other people feelings and tarnish their names. Cyber bullying has been affecting various people from all age brackets ranging from teens to adults for some period. Different methods of cyberbullying include: sexual harassment, use of threats, impersonation that is aimed to damage somebody reputation, spreading of lies, destroying relationships, making somebody the subject of ridicule in chat forums and websites, editing of photos using photo editing software that are meant to embarrass, posting compromising photos of others taken without victim’s prior permission on social sites and lastly sharing embarrassing information or secrets on social networks.
Cyberbullying crimes can be committed by anyone with the knowledge of how to use mobile devices, tablets, computers and the Internet. Teens can create social media pages, videos, and websites to ridicule or make fun of other people. Adults can take pictures in places where privacy is expected such as the bathroom and bedrooms and then post the photos on-line. Kids may also use gaming networks and other anonymous applications to humiliate and tear down others.
The estimated percentages of youths who experience cyberbullying on a daily basis range from 10-40%. The percentages depend on one factor that is the age group in focus. Cyber bullying can be compared to the traditional bullying in the following way. Both forms of bullying are common regarding technique and form. The only difference between cyberbullying and traditional bullying is that the victim in cyberbullying may never know why he is being targeted as the sender of the malicious message may hide their identity CITATION Kat12 \l 1033 (Katz). The effects of cyberbullying as compared to traditional bullying are viral. A compromising or embarrassing photo taken without the consent of somebody may circulate worldwide within hours leaving the victim embarrassed or becoming an overnight Internet sensation.
The root of cyber bullying is based on malice and the desire to hurt others. Cyberbullying may either be intentional based on the knowledge of the cyber bully and social upbringing. One of the courses of cyber bullying is the need to feel powerful. Power intoxicates, and the need to remain in control of all the situations pushes some people especially teens to harass others to maintain this situation and feed their need to be powerful. Those intoxicated by power use cyberbullying as a way to interact with others that on their terms. The power-hungry cyberbullies are often victims of real life cyber bullying that is off-line. These kinds of cyberbullies brag as they want a reaction, and if there are no immediate results, they get more aggressive to stir some reaction. The power-hungry cyber bullies are usually physically smaller or females that are picked on by others for not being cool or popular enough but have great technical skills. What empowers this kind of bullies is the power of digital communications and also the fact that they will never come into contact with their victim, and this makes them potent.
Family problems may cause a teenager to cyber-bully his other teens. Children exposed to violence from a young age tend to bully others. Bullying may be done using technological platforms or even physical violence. Children exposure to intimate partner violence eventually leads to the child being physically aggressive hence resulting to bullying as a way of resolving their problems. Children more often than not mimic their parent’s behavior as they are the children’s role models. The children grow up being exposed to violence and even on reaching maturity they believe that this is the right way to solve problems, and they exercise it on their peers. If the teen or child is not physically capable of bullying others in the old fashioned way, they eventually turn to technology such as using smartphones and social media to conduct their acts of threats and bullying others CITATION Rog10 \l 1033 (Rogers).
Advancement in the telecommunication industry has played a big role in enhancing the privacy of the Internet users. The recent cases of digital and government surveillance have led to the development of different anonymity software. Anonymity means the quality or state of remaining hidden. Anonymity has played a big role in ensuring that even if messages are intercepted by the wrong recipient the identity of the sender remains hidden. There are numerous anonymity software and applications that ensure data integrity and hiding the user’s identities. The Tor network is an example of an anonymous network. Tor has several onion layers and proxies that ensure the privacy of users CITATION Wil07 \l 1033 (Willard). Using the Tor network cyber bullies can send threats, abusive messages on website forums, post photos taken in compromising positions on social networks. The cyber bullies conduct this kind of crimes due to the anonymous nature of the network and the fact that they can never be traced. The availability of the anonymous software is the driving factor as the software only require a minimum understanding of anonymity. The unlimited use of anonymous networks and proxies eventually leads to misuse and hurting innocent parties.
Cyber bullying is also revenged motivated. Some victims of cyberbullying believe that harassing people is the only way they are capable of handling what has been done to them. The victims hat are exposed to long terms harassing may find weaker targets and bully them with the sole purpose of boosting their egos. The cyberbullies may not see themselves as bullies at all but they may see it as protecting themselves or correcting wrongs. The effect of this is doing more harm than good as Justice cannot be administered by revenge but only by using proper channels that ensure the perpetrators of this crimes are apprehended justice served.
The need for excitement and entertainment is also another driving factor for conducting cyberbullying acts. This type of bullying is based on ego and it’s the most immature type. The cyber bullying occurs among those with good technical skills. They may feel the need to conduct an experiment due to the online anonymity and see the reactions CITATION McQ09 \l 1033 (McQuade and Colt). The cyberbullies may be unaware that their actions are causing grave harm to other parties. The cyber bullies pick a target randomly while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. The acts occur during on-line gaming whereby the details of the players are hidden. This may eventually cause hate and depression to the recipients of the acts or threats CITATION Hun12 \l 1033 (Hunter).
The effects of cyberbullying are damaging to people of any age and from all walks of life. It affects people differently and becomes a source of worry and distress. The availably of cheap technology and good Internet connection ...
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