According to BullyStatistics.org, at an average two students were victimizing 2.7 million students via online bullying in 2010 alone. Cyber Bullying is a growing problem worldwide, especially in the United States. Even though adults get bullied as well, the majority victims are teenagers. In his article, titled “What should be done to Cyber Bullying?”, Jonathan Strickland mentions that those punished for bullying have not been punished effectively and therefore, continue with their crimes. He presents the government with the challenge of making and implying effective laws that will solve the issue and parents are also brought under the spot light about their supervision and control over what their children are doing in the cyber world. Cyber bullying poses many physical and psychological dangers to its victims and those responsible for presenting youngsters with a healthy, controlled environment are the parents who should be aided by the country’s leaders in providing discipline and educational venues to prevent the problem before it reaches a dangerous level.
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Most of the time, harms resulting from cyber bullying are under focused and ignored. This leads to the problem of building up and not getting solved effectively and permanently. The biggest danger is that once the internet browser is opened, one does not truly know who he or she is communicating with on the other side. Because of this anonymity resource, people do not know who is bullying them and this can be very traumatizing. Social network sites like Facebook and MySpace usually show a person’s true identity and people can make public groups and gang up on singled out victims. The bullying is not only verbal since people can be blackmailed through personal photos.
Furthermore, there is a lot of drama created when the online groups (bullies and victims) have to face each other, as in High school, resulting in offline cyber bullying. Victims, along with being socially tortured, suffer psychological and even physical harm. Examples include anxiety disorders, depression, cutting, and ultimately, suicide. In such extreme cases, people are forced to wonder where were the adults, specifically parents and were they really so oblivious that they could not stop the tragedy? Parents are a huge part of any teenager’s life and therefore, need to take the largest responsibility for how their children are being raised. From an early age, kids idealize their mother and father as super heroes and role models. However, as they get older, the communication gap between a child and a parent widens, which is the main problem. Parents should be interacting with their child on a daily basis. This way the child will know that he or she has someone to talk to and someone who truly cares.
There is a great need for parents to understand that they must let go of their selfish and often childish behaviors and accept their responsibilities. Often times, as adults, people still falsely believe that they can get away with actions and sayings as they did in their younger years. However, this childish façade needs to be dropped and people, especially those with children, need to change their life styles, adopting more mature and responsible behavior. There is a huge misconception that children will forgive and forget. Children are watching every action of the adults surrounding them. Parents should know that they can change their kids’ lives completely if they first change theirs or the positive.
Jonathan Strickland states, “Only by changing behaviors can we hope to really curb cyber bullying.” This is very true and places a great responsibility on parents to carry out by being great mentors and disciplinarians for their children. They should limit the things they give their kids like cellphones, which are very dangerous as they are able to send messages to anyone anywhere. Many have given their kids alternatives like cellular devices which could connect to any electronic interface. Cellphones should be considered a privilege and not a right. Parents should enforce strict rules into their data plans and limit options such as Internet and text messaging. Parents need to take action everyday so they know what is going on in kids’ everyday lives. If kids feel uncomfortable talking with their parents, then should be able to go to the other resources like teachers.
This brings us to the importance of public authorities like schools and government in the fight against cyber bullying. The government needs to expand their security on the World Wide Web. Legislators have reported millions thousands of deaths, assaults, and suicides that relate to cyber bullying. Even parents are ready for a change in the governmental security system because they want their child to be protected by all means. The schools also play a huge part in the fight against cyber bullying as most bullying starts in the school halls and classrooms. Administrators should have well-trained guidance counselors, peer mentors and educational sessions to help to find solutions to this problem. The government needs to campaign against cyber bullying on a national level, providing schools with the essential resources such as training mentors programs.
Cyber bullying is taking place daily and millions of teenagers are affected. When pushed to find solutions, many complain that because of the ever changing technological trends, it is difficult to keep up. However, this is a lame excuse when lives are at stake. Parents, government officials and school leaders often lag behind children in knowledge dealing with technology, slang trends, and much more. It is critical that these care givers and protectors are one step ahead at all times. The adults need to prove to the children that they are tech-savvy by monitoring their actions and if they are not, they should show the kids that they will make it a point to learn what they do not know. This will not only present a great example for the kids to follow but will also discourage kids from dwelling into unknown dangers since they will at least stop out of fear of getting caught and being punished. The most important thing for everyone, according to Strickland, is to prevent the problem beforehand instead of hiding the remains of an ugly situation under the rug. Indeed prevention is better than the cure.
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