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Cyberbullying: The Ways It Affects People, And The Consequences That Follow
Where did the term "Cyberbullying" originate from?
The term, "Cyber" means of, relating to, or characteristic of the culture of computers, information technology, or virtual reality, so to speak. As we all know, the Internet, also known as "cyberspace" came alive between the years of 1989 and 1992. Now it is a world wide gateway for communicating within, outside, around, and across national and international persons of every country, culture, region, and/or wherever IT (Information Technology) systems are accessible. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and some even all touch screen or voice controlled, thanks to awesome technology in our world. But some people abuse the privilege and freedom of the use of the Internet. Let me explain how:
Bullying. It's been around since the human race has begun. The term, "Bully" refers to a person who goes out of their way to intentionally harm, offend, defame, humiliate, tease, molest, belittle, insult, intimidate, abuse, or aggressively impose domination over somebody else. And bullying is just that. The bully himself/herself may think it's a funny thing to do, for the sole purpose of entertaining their friends or making themselves feel better, and it's usually because: The bully has no self-esteem, is jealous, or feels inadequate to others; thus, obtaining their five minutes of fame, by defaming someone else.
Sadly, bullying wasn't a big deal, or not as widely recognized as it is currently, until the late 90's and early millenium. Combine the Internet, a social networking database with available chats, comments, threads, uploadable video, and mix it with the every day open sores of the common bullying we see around the schools and at homes as well... And that's a gourmet recipe with disastrous consequences that follow. Hence, the words "Cyber" and "Bullying", and you therefore have "Cyberbullying". It's a sad epidemic that many teens, children, and some adults have ended their lives for.
Now, in our current cultures and societies world wide, it is now considered a crime to commit an offense of bullying somebody using the forms of SMS, Emailing, Social Chats, and various other forms of information technology. Little do some people know, there are certain degrees of Cyberbullying, and it varies by the behavior and the nature of the offense. Here are the basic facts therein as follows:
1. Cyberstalking: The practice of cyberbullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition when practiced by adults, the distinction in age groups sometimes refers to the abuse as "Cyberstalking" or "Cyberharassment", when perpetrated by adults toward adults. Common tactics used by cyberstalkers are performed in public forums, social media or online information sites and are intended to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. Behaviors may include encouraging others to harass the victim and trying to affect a victim's online participation. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them.
2. Cyberbullying: This term is used directly towards a different age group, for example, a ninth grader being targeted by one of his classmates on Facebook, because he sits alone at lunch and minds his own business, and doesn't dress like the other kids, so he's the target for another classmate. And although the ninth grader ignores the other persons threats, ridicule, and bothersome words, 95% of high school, junior high, and elementary school students are eventually placed on SSI for PTSD from being bullied, and later develop problems with common destructive and constructive criticism in their later years. Some, even go as far as homicidal thoughts or suicidal ideations, and some even carry it out.
Point being, harassment of any sort, especially bullying, whether it's done using the Information Systems Technology, or done in person, it does have some permanent, lasting, long term emotional and mental aftereffects on some people. In some people, the damaging effects of cyberbullying or bullying, in general, has the once normal child turning into the now shy, reserved, depressed, anxiety ridden humans who have to rely on the government to survive, because social situations as they get older will be farely few, and far between. Interactions with other humans becomes almost impossible, and maybe even to the point where even a 12-year old would sacrifice his/her own life, just to be rid of the mental anguish and fear that comes with the territories of being bullied.
What are some of the permanent emotional and mental aftereffects of Cyberbullying on others?
A new study has found a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among teenagers who have been bullied.
The study of 963 teens aged 14 and 15 in Norwegian schools found symptoms of the disorder in about 33 percent of the students who said they were victims of bullying — though it did not determine that these students were diagnosed with full-blown PTSD. But that's just in Norwegian schools alone. Imagine how many teens, preteens, and school aged younger children have PTSD due to simple bullying alone. Too much of a number to list here. That's really sad.
I personally have been bullied in my younger years, because I wasn't like the other kids. Did it have permanent results? Yes. I am on SSI myself for Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Depression. It DOES have lasting effects! And I'm 33 years old. PTSD is any form of permanent memory of the emotional and mental abuse that went along with being bullied. Mine weren't a result of "Cyberbullying", because Facebook and social media wasn't around when I was a kid. But in person bullying was. And it's not as bad as what's going on CURRENTLY in this society. But it also wasn't very entertaining, to say the least.
Schools and local authorities don't always defend it or make it a priority to discipline the bullies, but more now is being done about it than it ever has been over a decade of more than 20 years. Take a stand, and put the bullies in their places, and stop and listen if your child, mother, aunt, sister, nephew, or neighbor kid says they are being harassed via Internet or even in person at work or school... And just take the time to listen and see what can be done to prevent further mental or emotional abuse from occurring or getting worse.