The downsides of social media: cyberbullying

The rise of social media has many advantages. Nowadays it just takes a couple of clicks to share anything with your friends, create events, know what your friends are doing, etc. However, social media use has some disadvantages. A major disadvantage is cyberbullying. Because of the fact that it’s very easy to contact a person on a social network platform, it creates a lot of potential cyberbullying, and it happens a lot more than you would expect. Just a few findings of a study on cyberbullying:

– Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
– 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online.
– 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
– 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen other tell cyber bullies to stop.
– Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
– Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.

The last fact is something that we, unfortunately, experience more and more these days. In October 2012 15 year old Amanda Todd from Canada killed herself after repeatedly being bullied online. She uploaded a nine-minute video to YouTube describing years of bullying that she said drove her to drugs and alcohol, all told with a set of handwritten note cards.

In 2013 there were 2 more suicides caused by cyberbullying. 14 year old, Hannah Smith was found hanged. Her father said she had been sent abusive messages on social networking site, Just a month ago, a 12 year old girl jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory tower in Florida. She was picked on for months by as many as 15 girls through online message boards and texts.

The big question now is: Is it possible to stop cyberbullying and how should we do that?



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