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Bullying has unfortunately been around for centuries. From the mean kids in school who take lunch money from small children to malicious young adults who spread vicious gossip about their peers, they are just another part of school life. As time has passed and technology has progressed, bullies have found a new way to intimidate their targets: cyberbullying. According to a 2006 national survey by Pew Internet and American Life, a frightening 43 percent of teens today have experienced this new form of bullying. Cyberbullying is carried out by children, pre-teens and teenagers who use technology such as the Internet (chat rooms, social networking websites, e-mail) as well as cell phones in order to get revenge or express anger toward a certain person. These types of bullies torment and humiliate their prey through these technological methods. In order for a threat to constitute as cyberbullying, it usually takes place more than once, unless it is a death or serious injury threat. One example of bullying using technology is sending threatening text messages.Cyberbullies may also steal victims’ Internet passwords and pretend to be them online. They then send insulting e-mails to the victims’ friends. This has the potential to rip friendships apart and cause serious social damage. Victims can also find themselves locked out of their own e-mail and social networking accounts, because the bullies have changed their passwords.
Blogs are another way cyberbullies do harm. Bullies may type up detailed, hateful entries about someone they know, such as an ex-girlfriend, and include hurtful comments and information that may seriously harm the victim’s reputation. Bullies can also send viruses to a victim’s computer. They may sign someone up to receive pornography or hundreds of junk e-mails a day, which catches their parents’ attention. When parents get involved at this stage, it can result in the children unjustly being punished. No type of bullying should ever be ignored, but cyberbullying in particular has created devastating effects on victims and their families. For instance, victims are more prone to have depressed, suicidal thoughts. People who have been bullied online are eight times more likely to carry weapons to school than those who are not bullied. In extreme cases, cyberbullying has actually led to several victims taking their own lives, an act known as “cyberbullicide.” Children and teenagers who have been bullied via Internet and cell phone technologies should always make sure to keep a record of the threat. If the threat is serious, parents should call the police, as the offense could potentially be punishable by law. People can also report their personal incidents to the Cyber Tipline, a website devoted to fighting child exploitation.
This post is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another.References:http://www.answers.com/topic/bullyhttp://www.stopcyberbullying.org/index2.htmlhttp://www.makeadifferenceforkids.org/cyberbullying.html
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