Affirmative: A Permanent Psychological Toll

According to an article in University Business Magazine, cyberbullying has worse effects logothan many people may think. Cyberbullying harassment is so brutal because it is subtle, but has extremely long lasting effects. Anybody who was cyberbullied in middle school or high school knows that memories of those times follow you. In some cases, victims of cyberbullying will always remember their bully and forever live in resentment and fear of that person.

“Cyber bullying, cell phone texting, and cell phone sexting have rapidly become more subtle and prevailing forms of harassment/violent acts within our schools and the lives of our private and public school children.” -University Business Magazine

Many people do not understand the extent of the emotional trauma that cyberbullying causes thousands of children and teens. Many more intense and dramatic stories of bullying and violence make the news. Lately, stories of cyberbullying have been gaining an increasing amount of media attention- proving the impact cyberbullying has on our society.

Just as acts of violence …jeopardizes the intent of the school to be free of aggression against persons or property…disruptions, and disorder (Center for the Prevention of School Violence, 2000, p. 2), cyber bullying and textual harassment are equally disruptive and threatening.

In other words, schools do not give cyberbullying the same attention that they give other matters. Cyberbullying should be a main concern for schools because it is more relevant than traditional bullying and it can affect the general physical and emotional wellness of a child or teen.

The anonymity of the Internet makes cyberbullying even more dangerous than some other cyber-bullyingtraditional acts of violence. More often than not, words that are conveyed by cyberbullies are not messages anybody would ever say to another’s face. Cyberbullying victims are humiliated on a worldwide stage, on a platform that lasts, virtually, forever.

In a PEW survey, 94% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 go online. In other words 94% of teens have the potential to get cyberbullied and by a cyberbully on a daily basis.

A study by UCLA proved that 75% of teens were bullied online, and of those bullied online 85% were bullied in school as well. In other words, cyberbullying is not restricted to the Internet. Cyberbullying that happens online could translate to traditional bullying as well.

Schools need to stand up to cyberbullies and see that Internet bullying is not an “out of school problem” but a problem that we can help solve with proper enforcement and education!

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Affirmative: Cyberbullying and Depression

Cyberbullying is so much more than just spreading hateful rumors or demeaning others through a computer screen. Cyberbullying has been linked to teen depression.

The digital age has brought social media to an entire new level of technology and this technology is here to stay, however more and more often we’re seeing teenagers suffer from depression and sometimes even take their own lives due to the effects of online bullying.

Cyberbullying is a topic many people are aware of, but not many people are educated about the health effects that go along with it. According to Michele Hammimgres.jpg, a researcher in pediatrics at the University of Alberta, argued that studies have shown that, “face-to-face bullying during the teen years may  double the risk of depression in adulthood, and bullying’s effects can be as bad or worse than child abuse.” Double the risk of depression in adulthood?! That’s startling. As of now, about 14.8 million American adults suffer from depression and due to this digital age that has brought about cyberbullying, that number will continue to climb as the generation gets older.

Depression is the one of the leading mental health disorders in people and it can be easily overlooked or belittled by those who do not know the serious consequences of ignoring depression.

We cannot let cyberbullying continue to effect our society. Cyberbullying is real. Depression is real. We must take action to prevent this health issues from arising due to cyberbullying. Just think about how harmful your words can be to someone, and always just think before you speak. It’s important to realize that every individual you encounter is going through a different journeyimages.jpg and life that you lead.

Affirmative: Cyberbullying and Parental Responsibility

There is no doubt that cyberbullying is an epidemic throughout America in the modern, digital age. But what role do parents play? A major issue that arises from digital technology is that people have the ability to maintain complete anonymity. Children and young teens are often intimidated by taunting and bullying that happens online and may not reach out for help from parents or adults. Many times schools “zero tolerance policies” are not enough to stop cyberbullying from occurring.

Parents need to realize that cyberbullying is a serious problem. Often time, parents underestimate how powerful the words of children and teens are. Also, parents underestimate the permanent effects cyber-teasing can have on youth.

It is becoming too common to see very young children with iPhones to call their own. MyCyberbullyingEd420 younger cousin Sophie, who is in fourth grade, was diagnosed with diabetes, and therefore her parents felt it was necessary for her to have a cellphone in case on emergency. Because many of Sophie’s friends were jealous that she got an iPhone, they began teasing her over instant messager and email. Sophie suffered anxiety about going to school because of the taunting messages she received. Sophia’s parents had no idea that young girls could be so cruel, and ultimately they had to get the parents of the other girls involved. If Sophie’s parents were more informed about the power of social media, Sophie may not have had to experience cyberbullying firsthand.

At the least, parents need to moderate their children’s Internet access. If children knew that their parents could see what they were posting, cyberbullying would be less of an epidemic.

Parents also need to look for signs that their child is a cyberbully. The key is to moderate Internet and social media access. If children and parents knew that schools in the Maryland school system had stricter punishments for cyberbullies, there would be greater motivation to put a stop to the problem!

Affirmation: Cyberbullying & Suicide

Bullying is something that we are all familiar with. Either we did it, received it, witnessed it, or heard about it. It is something that people have been trying to combat for as long as we can remember. There are different ways of dealing with it, whether it be ignoring it, just taking it, or sticking up for yourself. Some younger people, without knowing what to do, or just finding no answer in the mentioned tactics, opt with ending it by means of suicide. Top-20-Cyber-Bullying-Facts-1

Research studies have shown that suicide rates in the United States has gone down a remarkable 28.5% among younger Americans. However, there has been a steady increase in suicide among those ranging from the ages of 10 to 19. One main cause of this steady incline is bullying. Being bullied by peers gives those who are being harassed a sense of loneliness, depression, and a lack of self-worth among other alienable traits. And it is safe to say that that main for of this harassment takes place behind a screen as cyber bullying. (Cyberbullying Research Center)

Over the past few years, we can all recall seeing a high-profile case about a teen that unfortunately took their own life as a result of cyber bullying. “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts” (bullyingstatistics.org). Bullyingstatistics.org also reports that those who are cyber bullied are 2 to 9 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who are not victims of cyber bullying, according to studies from Yale University.

Schools should do all that they can to prevent and end any cyber bullying that they may hear of. But help should start at home. Parents who see a serious cyber bullying problem report it to the school authorities, and perhaps arrange a meeting with the bully’s parents. “More states are implementing laws against bullying, and recent lawsuits against schools and criminal charges against bullies show that there are legal avenues to take to deal with bullies” (bullyingstatistics.org). If school authorities feel as though the cyber bullying situation is out of their hands, then the local authorities should be contacted.

Still it is important for stronger cyber bullying laws to be put into place as technology advances.