The experiences of America’s youth has changed significantly over the last two decades. One of the greatest changes is the advancements and accessibility of technology. Although these advancements are beneficial to society; there are instances of dismay, especially as it pertains to bullying. Cyberbullying in resents years has become a hot topic because of the severity of some cases brought to the public’s attention. There are many reasons for cyberbullying and the results may be life-threatening.
Cyberbullying started with the use of chat rooms that were available to users through various websites and internet providers. With these new platforms, teens were able to express themselves on the basis of anonymity. There was little to no monitoring of these sites and insults were very likely to come from people that one had never met and did not know the names of. Soon after, there was the creation of Social Networks. These sites are more personalized profiles that provide a platform for people to express themselves as well as share social events with others. Cyberbullying was not a problem before the internet became a household necessity, however, traditional bullying (face-to-face) did exist, but was limited to physical interaction. According to Strom, P. and R. Strom “Cyberspace represents new territory for peer mistreatment” (36). Because cyberbullying affects teens in an emotional and psychological manner, more attention has been drawn to the issue.
The reasoning behind cyberbullying is vast and is not fully understood. Cyberbullying like traditional bullying is typically the result of anger. According to authors’ Hoff and Mitchell cyberbullying can stem from social relationship strains such as “break-ups, jealousy, intolerance, or gang” bullying. In the study titled “Cyberbullying: causes, effects, and remedies” the following example is given to describe a situation that stemmed from a break-up: “A friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend his girlfriend and she kept threatening to kill ME or have me arrested for slander because she thought that I had been talking about her and that was why my friend dumped her” (655).
The long term cause of cyberbullying is the existence of traditional bullying. There is a hierarchy that exist amongst teens that has enabled a sense of superiority over other teens that are classified as weak or strange. It is easier to pick a fight with someone who is less likely to defend his/her self. A bully will pick with a kid that is meek versus the quarterback of the football team. There is less risk when bullying the teen that is already socially isolated. However there is a higher risk of getting caught with traditional bullying which makes the anonymity of cyberbullying more appealing to teens. The evolution of technology is another long term effect of cyberbullying. New technologies are being created every day and more tools are being added to the arsenal of networks that...