Cyberbullying the New Battlefeild
Along with being a tool of education and entertainment,
the 21st century internet has become a warzone for
children and teen users. The internet has become a new
and popular medium for bullying and abuse; so ruinous
the vitriol, it sometimes even results in the deaths of the
teens being targeted by it (Marr & Field, 2001). Although
cyber-bullying has been recognized as a serious issue,
the majority of the literature focuses on how ‘others’ can
intercede, while very little focuses on victim
empowerment. Recent studies aimed at finding a solution
to Cyberbullying target how third parties can intervene.
This research will be an analysis of why the current
solutions are poor and how new research needs to be conducted on how to empower victims.
First, it is important to understand what bullying actually is. Bullying is defined as “unwanted aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power in balance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time.” ("No Bullying-Expert Advice On Cyber Bullying & School Bullying", 2017). 24,243,000 students ages 12-18 were surveyed in the years 2014 and 2015. Of those students surveyed, 20.8% reported to have experienced being bullied. Over half of the kids who were bullied, 13.3%, reported that they were “made fun of, called names, or insulted.” Only 7.6% reported experiencing bullying that involved any physical contact. (Department of Education, p.4)
Though ‘real world bullying’ and cyberbullying are separate and distinct forms of bullying, children who experience bullying outside of the internet are more susceptible to become victims of cyberbullying (Graham, Dutton, & Castells, 2014, p. 74).
Though these wars may be fought against the same people cyberbullying takes place in a completely different. (re-word) Cyberbullying takes place entirely through a communication technology medium. It could include text, any form of messaging, email, defamatory personal or polling websites that are “...to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.” (Belsey, 2004, n.p.) Another study says that the difference between cyberbullying and bullying in the ‘real world’ is that cyberbullying can happen at anytime and occur anywhere. The bully does not have to be physically anywhere near their victim. This is a problem because it can make victims feel that there is no safe place or refuge they can retreat to. (Rogers, 2010. p.13)