According to an article in University Business Magazine, cyberbullying has worse effects than 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 traditional 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!