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Cyberbullying For Teens
Hey! What Are YOU Doing?
Do you own any personal device, such as a cell phone or laptop, that you use for communicating with friends or family? If so, when was the last time you sent a message, email, or text? What were you doing with your social privileges? Are you using the social network responsibly, or are you spreading rumors, posting hurtful pictures, or even threatening someone?
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs through electronic communication. It can typically involve spreading false rumors, typing hurtful comments, posting rude media, or even threatening someone. It comes in many shapes and forms, but the the purpose behind it is to hurt someone's emotions through social media. 30% of kids have said that they have been cyberbullied at least once. This is the same as 1 out of 3 kids!
Nowadays, it is no wonder that so many young adults are using the social network irresponsibly for cyberbullying. I'm not pointing fingers at you, but other people your age are ruining lives through the technology that we use every single day. We live in the 21st century, or in other words, the age of electronic communication. Because of how much you and your peers use personal electronics to communicate, aren't you sometimes pressured by your friends to do what everyone else is doing? It may look like a cool thing with your buddies, but the thing is, most of the time, these things are very wrong and they make others feel horrible about themselves. In our world, cyberbullying is raging like a wildfire. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and in some cases, suicide.
The Effects Of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying often leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are some of the effects it can have on your life:
- Making you more likely to engage in alcohol and drugs.
- Making you more likely to skip school.
- Having lower self-esteem
- Receiving poor grades.
- Experiencing depression or anxiety.
- Showing abnormal aggression for small things.
- Bullying other people, starting a chain reaction.
Suicide Through Cyberbullying
Victims of cyberbullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to commit suicide. You may think that this is too alarming to be true, but it is happening all around us. How many times have you heard about a suicide on the news, newspaper, or televison? Once, twice, three times? The truth is, about 4,400 deaths occur each year because of the hurtful things posted online. This means 4,000 humans are lost because somebody out in the world has been spreading negative, unwanted thoughts targeted towards a particular person. Think not only about how painful it must be for the victim, but for the people around them: Friends and family. They will grieve over the death of someone close to them, the same way that you would probably do if somebody close to you died. It is natural that people would want to commit suicide, because they have such a mix of emotions, that they all become extremely overwhelming and stressful.
Why Do People Cyberbully Anyway?
Cyberbullying is a horrible thing, but why does it happen in the first place? In most cases, the cyberbully is often suffering from thoughts of revenge, anger and aggression. Basically, there are cyberbullies because they themselves have once been victims of any kind of bullying. The cyberbully may feel depressed and might see their wrong actions as a way to vent their anger at others and loosen up. At other times, people might see these actions as a chance to get a one-up on others, or to remind them of where they stand in popularity and not get too ahead of themselves. Another huge reason why people cyberbully is that they think it is cool, and it is "the thing" to be doing. After all, doesn't it give you a higher respect with your friends and give you a higher spot in your social status? In actuality, you gain no respect, and you are acting like a complete idiot. Why?When your friends convince you to send a message to someone, and you get caught, who is to blame: You or your friends? The answer is you! You were sending that message, you had wrong intentions, you were disobeying the law. You are to blame, not your so-called "friends" that made you look stupid. And what happens when you look stupid? People will hang out with you less and less, and you will be a complete loner and loser. It is a lose-lose situation in cyberbullying. Nobody wins, everybody loses. Can't we just help each other out?
What If You Are Being Cyberbullied?
Cyberbullying is extremely dangerous in its own way. It makes people make unwanted and worthless. Nobody should have to deal with this stuff. That is why if you are being cyberbullied, you should not stay silent. Speak up for yourself, and let your elders know. They are your well-wishers when being cyberbullied. Here are a couple of things you can do if you or someone you know is being cyberbullied:
- Tell an adult right away.
- Take screenshots of the offensive things posted about you or someone you know.
- Block that person.
- Tell the bully to stop the harassment.
- Find something else to do, and take you mind off of it.
- If they are still not getting message, alert the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- DO NOT believe the bully. They are being stupid and showing others who they really are.
- Remember that you are the only that can decide who you are and what you will do.
- Help others, and spread the message.
- If you are considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away at this number: 1-800-273-TALK
- If being threatened, call 911 right away.
Don't Give Up!
Dealing with cyberbullying is hard. Many, many people have dealt with it, but they have led happy lives afterwards. Never give up hope if you are being cyberbullied, and always help others if they are being cyberbullied. End contact with the perpetrator, and do not retaliate towards them. If you cyberbully them back, you are no better than the bully. And remember, help raise awareness about cyberbullying. Maybe someday, it will be extinct as we know it!