Cell phone usage and bullying has gained much attention in the United States in recent years. When many of us hear the word Cyberbullying, we automatically relate it as something that happens only on the internet. Yet, the term includes the use of cell phones to communicate a threat, send an abusive text, send inappropriate pictures or make harassing phone calls to someone in order to scare or upset them. Unfortunately, this is another vice that negatively plagues our youth.
Second on my list of inappropriate use of cell phones is when people use them as a tool to embarrass or exploit someone. Bullying of any kind is cruel, and no one should have to be a victim of it in any form. However, much like the internet, cell phones allow the transmission of embarrassing images or texts to many people in a matter of minutes. I believe that at some point, the majority of us, including our family and friends have been a victim of some form of bullying.
In an effort to research just how serious teenage bullying is I explored the resources of a government ran website titled Bullying Staistics.Org. The website was established to help educate families, children and school administrators on the various types and outcomes of bullying. In addition, the site provides those who are bullied with the names of organizations, therapy groups and suggestions on how to cope. The site was instrumental in helping me with my research.
According to the website, for most, bullying begins in the teen years. it is estimated that at least nine out of 10 teenagers have a cell phone, and the odds of those that will be bullied through cell phones is one out of five (bullying statistics.org). In addition and contrary to what I initially thought, the website stated that teenage girls are far more likely to use the cell phone for bullying than boys.
The term used to describe the act of sending revealing photos from one phone to another is known as sexting. Contrary to what many believe, sexting is a method commonly used to bully someone. By retaining provocative pictures of someone, the bully has the ability to humiliate or demand certain services and or money to keep the photos a secret. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life survey revealed that at least 18 percent of the teen population has admitted to either sexting photos of themselves or another person (teenvogue.com).
Recently, CNN news ran an article involving a 15 year old who was the victim of cell phone bullying by a 17 year old. The events were triggered when the 15 year old girl sent a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend. The boyfriend, who I believe should have been charged as well, shared the photo with his best friend. The best friend posted the photos on an Instagram site he created, to which he titled, TheseHoes01 (Huffington Post, 2014).
Eventually, word of his webpage and the revolting pictures he posted were discovered and forwarded to the proper authorities. Afterwards, the teenager was...