Cyberbullying and You

Welcome back to another “Communication Series” topic:

Below is a snippet from my Communication final paper from 2016. Cyberbullying is real and can affect anyone of any age group. It is hard to believe that someone that we probably have not met in real life, can affect our mental stability and overall mental health.  I stress the topic of social media and its decline on our mental health to all my friends and love ones. Do not underestimate the power of this important issue.

Sam Laird has published an insightful article in a magazine called Mashable Lifestyle. Laird states that 42% of teenagers have been the victim of cyberbullying in the past year, and of that percentage that 80% are active on social media sites. Laird also goes on to say that almost 3 million kids per month miss school due to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can manifest in many ways such as: rumors, photographs, threats, or exclusion. And with all of that, the person who is doing this can, for the most part, hide their identity. And they can be persistent with harassment to a wide audience.

The most disturbing fact to me is that Laird said that 20% of these kids think about suicide, and 1 out of 10 attempts it. If you set your brain to really think about the speed of light communication, think how 1 negative comment or photo about someone can reach a massive audience in less than 1 second. The person being harassed has nowhere to hide, no escape from this. Kipling Williams coined a termed named “cyberostracism”. Williams calls it “cold shoulder or silent treatment.” (Williams, 2001) This is apart from cyberbullying which means to be virtually excluded. This could be an online game, chatroom, etc. Be aware of the warning signs that a victim of cyber bullying might show. These include headaches, stomach pains, difficulty concentrating and getting along with others. We can use the internet and social platforms to create a positive light and a positive connection.

We are all unique and special throughout humankind. Let no one tell you otherwise. Let your voice be heard. 

Please sound off below if you or someone you know has experienced this issue.  

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