Are Jerks The Future of The Internet?

What you may call “Facebook drama” is actually not a new phenomenon – it’s cyberbullying. With the evolution of technologies that enable us to stay connected to our friends, enemies, and all the rest of the world, we are finding ourselves secure in the facade of (in some cases) online anonymity. Cyberbullying affects not only children in key developmental stages of their lives, but also in teens – and in our adult lives. Social media platforms serve as a new avenue for hateful acts, and do indeed trigger very real reactions like suicide.  There have been many recent cases showing up in the news of teenagers who have been bullied and harassed so badly on social sites like Facebook that they have committed suicide which is never the right answers but fragile minds in an already broken state feel as though there is no other way out.

Justin W. Patchin, an associate professor of criminal justice at UW-Eau Claire, and co-director of the school’s Cyberbullying Research Center says, “Up to 25 percent of students will be cyber-bullied during their lifetimes.  Cyberbullying, like other kinds of bullying, can reduce self esteem, lower academic performance, lead to misbehavior and increase thoughts of suicide.”

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that is raising many eyebrows.  Sites like Facebook must update their current privacy settings to make sure younger generations on social sites can feel safe and secure from bullies.  Studies have shown that bullying is a predictable psychological behavior: it’s effects are significant and ripple through well into adulthood.  Social media now both an avenue for hateful acts and a trigger for suicide, and the age-old question still stands: is it nature, or nurture?

As this infographic explains, children that lack a natural progression in language skills are prone to evoke bully-like behaviors starting at the early age of two. Take note of how the natural chain of development in one’s life can lead into acting out in aggression at others.

Cyber Bullying and Social Media
Created by: Online Counseling Degrees

If you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying, or “internet drama” – tell us about it in the comments.

2 Comments on "Are Jerks The Future of The Internet?"

  1. This is a phenomenal article. We understand the impact of cyberbullying and we are glad people are getting involved to make a difference. We actually created The Great American No Bull Challenge to help eliminate cyberbullying and provide an opportunity for teens to win $25k worth of prizes. We hope that everyone gets involved and helps us make a difference. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/NOBULLChallenge​​

  2. Bullying has always been devastating and the internet is making it simple. There are some behaviors that go past what freedom of speech is meant to be. Part of the part is you have CEO’s of companies like Topix, that flat out refuse to do much to curve the problem because they fear losing users if they actually have some rules.

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