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Cyberbullying is known as the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by the internet or by sending text messages that are usually of an intimidating or threatening nature. Cyberbullying is an important issue that needs to be discussed in society due to the numerous harmful effects it can have on growing individuals. Victims of cyberbullying suffer through loads of emotional trauma like anxiety, depression, fear, low self-esteem, and insecurities, and experience physical symptoms such as loss or gain of weight, loss of appetite, loss of memory, vomiting and even fever which can all have negative effects on an individual. If a child is a victim of cyberbullying this could lead to the child having major negative results and behaviors in school, the child will become disinterested in a lot of school-related activities due to the child feeling embarrassed or humiliated and un comfortable around his or her peers. These negative impacts caused by cyberbullying can often lead to a decline in mental health mostly ending up in the victim committing suicide because he or she may feel like they are not good enough or worth enough and hopeless to the extent that they feel like suicide is the only solution to their problem. Parents should make sure they keep track of their child’s behaviors and feelings and always communicate with their kids or make sure their child has a certain someone they feel like they can trust enough to confide in. Some people may ask the question why cyber is bullying even an issue in our society. Cyberbullying is an issue in our society today because some would see certain individuals to be weaker than they are, so they decide to project their own insecurities onto those individuals in an attempt of making themselves feel better. Some people may see an individual with a trait, quality or physical appearance that they themselves would like to possess but because they lack this certain quality they decide to bring down those individuals with this certain quality due to their jealousy. Cyber bullying could also occur in the form of gangs which is a group of people coming together to gang up on a certain individual whom they feel like is an outsider and they do not belong or due to a falling out or many other personal reasons. Cyberbullying may also occur in society because certain people do not have very much going on for them in life so they decide to sit behind a computer or device all day bringing down and attacking other people, which may seem like an accomplishment to them or may seem like they do have something going on for them in life and after all give them some power over their victims.
Structural functionalism is seen as a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. (K. Mofitt 2019). The various functions of cyberbullying include using social media, the internet, text messages and electronic communication to bully a person. Another aspect of cyberbullying involves bystanders those individuals who are aware of the bullying is taking place but refrain from interfering or doing anything to stop the bullying. While bystanders do exist, we also have up standers these are those individuals who try to stand up for the victim being bullied and interfere with the situation. Cyberbullying does create dysfunctions in society in the sense that certain people will always be a target may be due to the way they are viewed in society, or them doing certain things that make them prone to receiving attacks and threats online.
Social conflict theory is a paradigm in sociology that views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change. Key elements in this perspective are structured in a way that benefits a few at the expense of the majority and these factors include race, sex, age, and class which all link to social inequality. (K. Mofitt 2019). Any person can be affected by cyberbullying regardless of race, sex, age or class, and any person can also be an individual engaged in cyberbullying another weaker individual regardless of age, sex, race class. The most powerful group in terms of cyberbullying would be the individuals carrying out the cyberbullying because they are using the internet as a way of making themselves feel better by bringing other people down. The oppressed or subordinated group in terms of cyberbullying would be the victim. The victim is made to feel powerless, humiliated and voiceless which makes it look like the bully has the upper hand of the situation. However, during cyberbullying, the bully continues to have the upper hand as long as the victim is allowing it to go on or letting the bully get a reaction out of them. Sometimes standing up for yourself can help the bully lose confidence and back down a bit.
Symbolic interaction theory also called symbolic perspective is a major framework of the sociological theory. This perspective relies on the symbolic meaning that people develop and build upon in the process of social interaction. (A. Crossman 2018). Cyberbullying affects all of society it is a certain issue that some individuals have been dealing and struggling with at some point in their lives and leading to things like suicide and different mental health problems like depression, anxiety etc. Cyberbullying should not be taken or seen as something light it can affect its victims tremendously and anyone who knows or is experiencing cyberbullying should speak up or try to create a positive change in the situation.
Symbolic interaction theory best applies to the issue of cyberbullying. This theoretical perspective looks at how people navigate their interactions with others and assign meanings based on their interpretation of those interactions. The theory focuses more on the behaviors of individuals as opposed to the behaviors to the collective behaviors of people as a group. (add in-text citation) cyberbullying can lead to people feeling like they have to act or behave a certain way either in public or online to avoid drawing negative attention to themselves or to avoid being a victim of cyberbullying which can easily be explained by the symbolic interaction theory, because the certain individual is focusing more on conforming their behavior or appearance to please other people. It would be hard for the symbolic interaction theory to have a positive change on cyberbullying because trying to get certain individuals to not be susceptible to cyberbullying would mean them turning a blind eye to what to other people seem to think of them. It could also mean not being active on social media or not letting people’s comments or opinions bring you down or have an effect on you. So in conclusion there truly is no manual or right or wrong way to deal with cyberbullying all human beings are different so whether you’re a victim or know someone who is a victim we should all just find ways we think can help put a stop to cyberbullying according to our own terms.
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