Cyber Bullying: Much More Than Innocent Teasing

The teen years can be so rough.
The teen years can be so rough. | Source

Bullying

Bullying is basically the repeated harassment and intimidation of another person. It can be in the form of verbal abuse, physical abuse, manipulation and coercion, among other forms. Bullies have been around for as long as mankind and children can be especially cruel. Children are not born with empathy, nor do they know how to be social unless taught by the adults around them. When adults encourage the bullying or worse, just laugh it off, then children believe that the behavior is condoned. Bullying can be anywhere from mild to severe and can cause deep depression in some children and can even lead to suicide, sometimes called bully-cide, or murder. Jared was one child who was bullied to the point of suicide. He was a 98 lb. 6th grader who was bullied and beaten severely by a 175 lb. 8th grader. The other children who were around did nothing to stop it and the adults who were told of it did nothing to prevent it.

Bullied To death

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullyingis a specific type of bullying that is even more insidious than face to face bullying. Due to the anonymity that cyber bullies are capable of, there are less limitations on their behavior. One or more children targets another on the internet for the sole purpose of torment, humiliation and embarrassment and then spreads the harassment throughout the child's school and social networks. It is usually an ongoing campaign, although anyone can become a victim on a moment's notice. This type of bullying must be between minors, for when an adult gets involved, it becomes cyber harassment or cyber stalking. The laws are vague on this type of bullying and it is often difficult to pinpoint the offender. Wikipedia describes it as; the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. Too many children are victims of cyber bullying with dire consequences. The first convicted cyber bully in Great Britain received only three months in jail after the the teen she harassed reported a death threat.

Meagan's Story

Meagan Meier was a thirteen year old who, in 2006, hung herself after the parent of a classmate posed as a teenage boy who pretended to like her, then turned on her. The parent was not held responsible because there were no state laws that addressed cyber bullying at the time. This year, Congress is drafting new legislation called, the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act". It says, in short, that whoever transmits any communication with the intent to intimidate, harass, or cause emotional distress"... The parent who perpetuated the hoax was acquitted of any charges.

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Comments 13 comments

shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

Yes, negative behaviour seems to find its way into the virtual world. Human behaviour doesn't change, just the tools do.

An interesting read.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thank you!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Excellent hub! We are all too aware of bullying in playgrounds, school and work, but addressing cyber bullying as a new issue is important. Well done!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thanks! I was horrified to learn that a parent would be willing to harass a child like that, and even more so to learn that she got away scot free.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Makes you wonder about the term "justice". Who speaks out for the children? Also, adults are just as vulnerable to cyber bullying.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

very true, anyone can be a victim.


mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

You bring out some very valid points. Many parents don't want to monitor what their children are doing on the internet, because they want not to invade their privacy. Better to guide what they do on the internet, then to have emotional damage done or worse yet, a suicide. Very good info here for all of us.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thank you! People magazine recently featured an article about another young girl who committed suicide due to bullying. Needless tragedy.


mel 6 years ago

that sad


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

It is sad, thanks for reading.


mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

I had to stop by and read this again. There are many things we have no control over, but this seems like something we should be able to prevent. These pre-teen and teen years are the time these young people should be enjoying life to its fullest and not living a tortured existence. Thanks again.


ZackW.Van profile image

ZackW.Van 4 years ago from Wisconsin Area

I'm so glad that there are people writing articles like this. I wrote my book knowing that a lot of people were unaware of the damages bullying does. Sometimes, people don't realize it until it's much to late. Thank you for writing this.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 4 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thank you, Mquee, for your support and encouragement.

Zach, it is good to see a young person with a social conscious. I am looking forward to reading your work. An eighth grader that can win 3rd place in a college contest is very impressive. I will expect great things from you!

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