Cyber Bullying Kills!

An extreme statement that is true for only a percentage of people who are cyberbullied, but a fact nonetheless that Cyberbullying can kill.

The Megan Meier Foundation which focuses on the prevention of Cyberbullying and Bullying alike has expressed through numerous surveys and studies the correlation between cyber bullying and suicide among its victims. (http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/suicide-statistics.html)

Below is a short video about a girl who experiences cyber bullying and how she decides to take matters into her own hands. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvWrCagU3Ow)

Make it Stop!

PrintMost bully victims do not report the harassment to adults. A recent survey found that 14% of students in Texas have experienced cyberbullying. 90% of those students did not tell an adult about the cyberbullying.

It is evident that most students do not speak out because they feel embarrassed or fear that the bullying will get worse. Parents and adults should monitor any changes in behavior, especially if a child starts to withdraw, has trouble sleeping and eating, or if their “bad days” pile up. This will help identify if the child is a victim of bullying or/and cyberbullying.

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.

Inside Cyberbullying

Today, cyberbullying is not just about having one bully target a victim. It is about everyone talking behind each other’s back.

Cyberbullying has become more common today because of the advancement of technology. Teens now are using anonymous messaging applications on their phones to bully others. These apps allows for them to use fake numbers to call and text others.

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Experts have defined cyberbullying as the actions of someone being hurtful repeatedly and deliberately to others.

Recently, Google Chrome added an extension which acts as a spellcheck for negative language. This extension lets the writer think twice about what they are about to send and gives them an opportunity to change it.

Refutation: A Reason to Worry

A recent article posted by makeuseof.com claimed that someone should “not worry” if world-shaker-cyberbullying-infographic-421097they or a loved one experiences cyberbullying. Studies have shown that children and teens who are cyberbullied are already self-conscious about coming forward and talking about their bulling. Sources who downplay the issue of cyberbullying encourage the destructive culture that we live in, where people think of cyberbullying as “no big deal.” If cyberbullying were really not an issue, thousands of children would still be alive today.

Claim: Cyberbullies are pathetic

Yes, this is true. Although most bullies are genuinely trying to cover their own insecurities, they still cause irreparable harm to others. If people begin to accept the fact that “cyberbullies are pathetic,” no change will ever come about.

Claim: Nothing lasts forever

Cyberbullying may not last forever, it may last only one day, but the damage done can last a lifetime. The website claims that eventually everything makes it off the Internet, but who cares if something is off the Internet because it has affected a human being who may have to live with the thoughts their whole lives.

Claim: Better content gets visibility

Most of the damage done regarding cyberbullying does not include others seeing in online. Yes, most people who are cyberbullied experience anxiety due to peer influence, but the real damage is done directly to the victim themselves. The article claims that all you have to do is out-perform them in search engine rankings. The last I checked, victims of cyberbullying do not care about search engine rankings.

Claim: People care about you

This is true! But, once again, does not mean cyberbullying should be tolerated.

So what can we learn? Many people do not thinking cyberbullying is as much of an issue as it truly is. Schools, the government, parents, and other children and teens do not understand the mental torture that victims of cyberbullying go through. We need stricter punishments for cyberbullies because the damage done to a victim is severe and, in many cases, permanent.

Refutation: Cyberbullying Should NOT Be A Crime

Cyberbullying is a term that has taken the world by storm and has been reported through a variety of media outlets for the past few years. We have all heard the stories of people, mainly young ones in middle and high school taking their lives as a result of constant cyberbullying. This is why people are fighting for tougher laws against cyberbullying from schools and public officials alike. Although the ending of short lives can be agreed upon by many as rather unfortunate, not all believe that it is at the fault of the bully.Man-in-jail-PF

There are those who argue that bullying, in any sense whether physical, verbal, or cyber, is inevitable and that younger people today are just responding incorrectly. This is up for debate but what could be better said is an alternative to prison. “If the only tool you have is prison, then every problem looks like a crime”, as explained by NY Times author Paul butler, a former federal prosecutor in his article “New Criminal Laws Aren’t the Answer to Bullying”. Because these cyberbullies did not intend for their “victims” to end their lives they should not be sent to prison, but punished in some other way. It can also be argued that the right to Freedom of Speech is being taken away from the cyberbully if they are arrested.

According to Forbes the United States already has the highest incarceration rate in the world, spending $60.3 billion in budget expenditures. Imprisoning students would add to this and the current 2.3 million people already in our overcrowded prisons. And as stated in the Forbes article, “Bullying Is Bad, But Criminalizing Bullying Would Be Even Worse” by Eli Federman “When bullying leads to suicide it is deeply tragic, but the fact is that this result is exceptionally rare. Millions of teens are bullied annually yet few take their lives.” Because the circumstances of those taking their lives as a result of cyberbullying is minuscule in comparison to the number of all who are cyberbullied, there is no case for the criminalization of cyberbullies, but there is call for some type of just punishment.