By Nicholas Logan
Since the start of the 21st century, the Internet has become a necessity in many people’s lives, making the use of social media increasingly important. Social media has its pros, such as being able to connect with family, do business with people across the world, and find out news with easy access, but there is still one con with joining the Internet world: cyber bullying.
Most of us have seen shows or movies in which a bully throws a kid into a locker or hangs him on a flagpole from his underwear. This type of bullying is mostly unrealistic in today’s world. Even so, bullying that inflicts physical pain is more obvious and thus easier to identify than cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can be worse because it causes emotional pain and goes unnoticed a lot of the time.
Rapper Tyler the Creator once tweeted that cyber bullying is not real because people can just walk away from the computer or close their eyes to ignore their cyber bullies. Unfortunately, it is not that easy, and the kids who suffer from cyber bullying wish it were. Cyber bullying can happen in many different ways, which is why it is hard to ignore.
The most common form of cyber bullying is when an individual sends hateful messages to another person, which many students have experienced. A student might face this problem in private messaging platforms that social media provides. The student being bullied might be in a hopeless situation because no one else can see the messages and help.
Spreading rumors or pictures of someone is another type of cyber bullying. Although this cyber bullying gets more attention than other types of cyber bullying, it is harder to stop because it is hard to figure out who started the rumors and who posted the picture first. A child can experience a lot of embarrassment from this type of bullying, and they might face more problems at school because of what happened on the Internet.
A child might face the same effects of being bullied when they believe someone else is a totally different person. For example, a girl may think she is talking to a teenage boy online, but in reality it is a 40-year-old man. The TV show “Catfish” has received a lot of recognition in recent years because of this. The term “catfish” refers to an online user who claims to be someone else. The show “Catfish” is about two guys who help people investigate if the person they are talking to online is really the person they say they are. They even meet them in person and find out most of the time it is a different person.
Cyber bullying also can happen over text or email. It is a problem that has risen in this generation and it has to be stopped. Fortunately, schools across the nation have taken measures to prevent and punish bullying, but we have a long way to go.