A quote by Patrick Overton “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your action, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” According to the Lexico Oxford Dictionary cyber bullying means “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” There are many causes and effects as it relates to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is caused by being power hungry and lack of empathy which leads to feeling suicidal and stressed.
Due to people being power-hungry, they turn to negative activities, thus leading them to cyberbully others. Kids who are popular often make fun of the less popular kids. These persons normally spread rumors and gossip and may even belittle others through social media. Persons who are trying to climb the social leader or gain social power usually resort to cyberbullying, because they are usually looking for attention. They use cyberbullying to try and make people miserable and doubtful so that those persons are less of a threat to them. Power-hungry persons also might cyberbully to diminish the social status of another person for example Talia might start rumors about Chavanece to make other persons view Chavanece in a negative way so that she remains the popular girl at school or even at work. According to Weebly, power-hungry cyberbullies sometimes want to control the victim by using intimidation; they normally want the victim to react whether in a negative or positive way. A survey done by the researcher at Vere Technical High School shows that fifty-five percent of students aged ranging from fifteen to eighteen stated that they cyberbully because it makes them feel like they are in charge of not just the person but the situation. Power-hungry cyberbullying is usually done by males, but in some cases, females do it too.
Persons who cyber bully seem to be caused by lack of empathy and they see nothing wrong with it. They see nothing wrong with it because they were not thought about the negative impact cyberbullying can have on someone. Lack of empathy is high because the online bully cannot see the pain they cause the person so they feel little or even no remorse about what they have done. While the researcher was having a discussion with her university friends about the topic of cyberbullying some of the persons she was talking with stated that, “they did not feel any way about saying negative things about persons on the internet especially if it is true.” They even went on to say that they don’t believe that they are not empathic because of saying those things online. However, studies have shown that a person who cyberbullies lacks empathy. In a survey that the researcher conducted in her community with members’ age ranging from thirteen to twenty, she asked how they feel when they write negative things about or to persons online and their response was that they felt like they were funny and that it made them popular. However, the victim of cyberbullying feels humiliated, depressed, and even anxious. So it is best for parents, legal guardians, and even teachers to inform people how cyberbullying makes others feel and how it impacts them negatively.
Now on to the effect of cyberbullying, first, let us look at suicide. Cyberbullying leads to persons becoming suicidal not just for the victim but also for the persons who cyber bully. As it relates to the victim, they may turn to suicide because they are feeling humiliated and they also feel hopeless. They become hopeless because they see nothing happening to stop the cyberbullying and they also think that nothing can be done to stop the people who cyberbully. This is because some kids do not report these incidents because they might be afraid of the outcome, no one knows the future. For example, a child may report the incidents to the teacher but the teacher does nothing and when that happens the child becomes helpless and does not tell others from the higher head. With this scenario being done then other kids that are being cyberbullied will not speak up because they think nothing will be done. Persons who are cyberbullied are normally left feeling humiliated, which is a normal way to feel. They feel extreme humiliation because whatever was said about them online is there for the world to see, not just their classmates or schoolmates. Some people may say, whatever people say online should not affect you because they do not know you; however, it can be proven that online backlash from strangers has a negative impact on the person just as how a face-to-face backlash from someone you know has a negative impact. The mean comments mess with your brain; hence you may start to think lowly of yourself, and that is where the suicidal thoughts come in. The victim starts to think it is better to be dead than to be going through that torture. As for the cyberbullies, they may be suicidal because they are unhappy with their life, they might be going through abuse and they take it out on others, hence they cyberbully. So not every time that someone cyber bully means that they are just plain and straight mean, it is just their way of coping with their situation. Not saying that it is right but that is the reality of today’s society. Parents should also communicate with their children and listen to what they have to say because that can help the child positively. It is advised to always seek help when you are being bullied or when you get pleasure from saying mean things online.
Stress is also an effect of cyberbullying on both the victim and the person who cyberbully. Yes, we agree that stress can be positive but in this situation, it is not. As it relates to the victim and the stress they face, it is negative stress because these persons go through negative impacts such as illness. The victim becomes stressed because of the humiliation they face and they see nothing happening to help the situation. When you are in a situation where you feel helpless you become stressed because you are trying to find a solution to fix your problem. When they become stressed that leads to the person becoming depressed and oftentimes getting headaches and stomachaches. The victims become sad because have what they are going through, on Real Daytime Jeannie Mai asked Tamar Braxton what advice she has for her son when it comes on to cyberbullying, and Tamar became emotional because she stated that, “I don’t have any advice for my son.” This is because she is still trying to get through the cyberbullying she faces, and it is a sad truth that we cannot hide our child from cyber bully because it is out there in the world. What we can do however is to as stated before seek help, children how to communicate with their parents, and if parents cannot help then they seek someone who can help the child because when someone is stressed and they become depressed, it is very hard to help them because they might start to isolate themselves. As it relates to how the person who cyberbullies, they may be stressed because of personal things, such as they might be a victim of cyberbullying themselves, and that is why they cyberbully. So we should not be quick to judge someone who cyberbullies, but we could try and help them by informing them how wrong it is and how they can attain help.
Overall, this paper speaks on the causes and effects of cyberbullying. It covers the causes which are persons being power hungry and persons who lack empathy. It also covers the effects which are the person becoming suicidal and stressed. It not only shows the effects on the victim but also the effects on the person who cyberbullies. So, as was stated above never be so quick to judge someone because they might be going through a rough time. Please remember that it is always important to seek help when you are being bullied because it can affect you negatively.
- Cyberbullying | Definition of Cyberbullying by Lexico. (2019). Retrieved 14 November 2019, from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/cyberbullying
- Mai, J., Braxton, T., Love, L., & Mowry, T. (2019). The Hosts Open Up About Being Bullied in School & Hollywood. Retrieved 14 November 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3zx8mAwGKI
- Overton, P. (2019). Post by misterlab on Boldomatic. Retrieved 14 November 2019, from https://boldomatic.com/p/B8YaIw/watch-your-thoughts-they-become-words-watch-your-words-they-become-actions-watch
- Types of CYBERBULLIES. (2019). Retrieved 14 November 2019, from http://cyberbullyingwrt.weebly.com/types-of-cyberbullies.html