Facebook and other social media platforms have brought communication across the world to a whole new level. The rise of social media has created a place for children to communicate with others in both a positive and negative manner. Although it has made a positive impact on American youth, it has also contributed and exacerbated bullying in our schools. This new form of bullying, often referred to as cyberbullying, has created an around-the-clock atmosphere where bullying can occur even when school is not in session. Many professionals have sought to address the negative aspects of social media and have worked to develop a solution to bring cyberbullying to an end.
Besides cyberbullying, there are many other negative outcomes for American youth in the use of social media websites like Facebook. For example, many teens are using shorthand and abbreviations when writing or communicating online. Additionally, teens lose themselves in social media, ignore their surroundings and even become addicted to social media. Consequences of this include a rise in obesity, devaluation in family, lack of exercise and decrease in focus on school and homework. Adolescents that use social media more often than others are more prone to “narcissistic tendencies,” “anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders” (Protalinski, 2011). American youth that share more online also display manic, aggressive and antisocial behaviors.
Cyberbullying has risen since the inception of social media sites and the rise of the internet. While the statistics regarding cyberbullying vary widely, anywhere from ten to forty percent or more of adolescents have reportedly been bullied online. The percentage of those on social media, like Facebook, has an even greater chance of being bullied online. While the type of bullying ranges from gossip and rumors to full-fledged violent threats, there is an alarming trend of increases in cyberbullying especially with students in high school (Hinduja & Patchin, 2012).
While cyberbullying affects each child differently, there has been a clear correlation between victims and non-victims and their self-esteem. In one study, bullied victims had less self-esteem than those who were not bullied online. Additionally, it was reported that victims of cyberbullying were thirty percent more likely to think about committing suicide (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2012). With the lack of parent supervision, it was found that those who spent more than three hours per school day on social networks were 110% more at risk to be a cyberbully victim as compared those who do not spend as much time online (Gilkerson, 2012). What may be worse is the fact that majority of those bullied online do not tell their parents or an adult about what occurred. Despite the fact that most adolescents state that bullying occurs more offline then online, cyberbullying is still a real and large threat to the youth of America (Lenhart, 2007).
While social media and...