Generations after generations teens have used the actions of bullying to hurt others they felt as a threat or to be in the “in crowd” of popularity. Traditional bullying was physical and thus confined to face-to-face contexts. However, with the development of widespread social interaction via social media websites, email, and text-messaging, teens have additional avenues of expression and, as a result, other means of bullying. Over time the bullying taking place using digital means has come to be known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has brought the evilness out of teen’s actions, words, and thoughts whether they were the bully or the victim. Equally important, the ending results of these actions, words and thoughts have brought death, limited yet undefined punishable consequences if pursued, and slowly progressing methods to control cyberbullying as a whole.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is simply the use of technology and its accessible tools to harass, hurt and embarrass the targeted individual repeatedly. Stopcyberbullying.org (n.d.), a dedicated organization to prevent cyberbullying and promote awareness, has defined cyberbullying as the use of the internet and mobile devices or digital technology such as text or instant messaging, e-mail, and/or post blogging by adolescents or teens to repeatedly threaten, harass, embarrass, torment, humiliate, or likewise the targeted adolescent(s) or teen(s). The 21st century has promoted and forced our teens to become very knowledgeable with the use of technology in addition to social media use and access. The array of social media medium includes Twitter, Facebook, and the even low-key Formspring—a medium that offers “total anonymity” to users (Holladay, 2011, p. 5). Even though both bullying and cyberbullying may carry the same parallel effects, cyberbullying has a longer-lasting effect due to the contents being delivered and displayed in a more public form viewable by millions.
Who’s behind Cyberbullying?
Ronald Williamson (2012) reported a study conducted by Common Sense Media (2010) that within 10-17 years of age students, 29% admitted to being cyberbullied and 52% knew someone who’s been cyberbullied. He also reports 11% of 10-17 years of age students admitted to participating in cyberbullying activities through a poll conducted in 2010 by the National Crime Prevention Council. Among these statistics, research has deciphered that females are more likely to cyberbully and be cyberbullied, whereas, males are more likely to go the traditional route (p. 1). The use of context when cyberbullying are morally different among both sexes as defined and quoted in Holladay’s (2011) article:
“Girls tend to target each other with labels that carry particular meaning for them.” said Hinduja. Labels like “slut,” “whore,” and “bitch” are common within girl-to-girl cyberbullying. The main tactic of boy cyberbullies who attack other boys is to accuse them of being gay. “The amount of abuse boys encounter...