Cyberbullying: The Case Of Gwenn O Keefe

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It’s no coincidence that a 16-year-old teenage girl, who thought she was meeting with her teenage pen pal, met with a 43-year old man and came up missing the next morning. It’s also no coincidence that a 13-year-old homosexual boy, who was constantly harassed with cruel messages online, hung himself last night. CNN reports that teenagers in the US spend approximately nine hours on social media a day. That’s over 250 total hours of average social media usage a month! Meanwhile, within the countless hours that the typical teenager spends online, it only takes one second for trouble to transpire. The large amount of time that teenagers spend online paired with the millions of users on major networks leave the door for social media abuse wide open.…show more content…
In general, social critics and specialists have discussed this abuse in two ways: online bullying and online exploiting. A prominent pediatrician and health journalist, Gwenn O’Keefe, acknowledges, “…cyberbullying is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and, tragically, suicide” (2). The significance of O’Keefe’s statement is that in our society, there are individuals who are not aware that their actions online can lead to detrimental consequences, which has allowed social media to become much easier for someone to oppressing others. Another journalist, June Chisholm, even believes that cyberbullying is thought to be worse than face-to-face bullying as she states, “…cyberbullying is a distinct, separate category of bullying behavior because of the unique psychological processes involved in cyberbullying and being cyberbullied” (n.p.). In making this statement, Chisholm positions that cyberbullying has an entirely different set of psychological effects on the victim. These effects are often caused by anonymity considering that a victim can be cyberbullied by a stranger or even someone close to them, and they will never be able to tell who the perpetrator is. Because they hide behind a computer, bullies may feel empowered to say and do more harsh things to their target than they would…show more content…
A bully is defined as someone who uses his or her superiority to harm or intimidate an emotionally weaker individual. Bullies on the playground and bullies on the Internet are much alike aside from the fact that Internet bullies can easily hide behind a computer with a fake avatar. The anonymity is a primary cause of this crime since the decreased chance for the person to be caught triggers their willpower to torment their victim. Internet bullies, also known as cyberbullies, usually do not think twice about what they do to their victims because as easy as it is to construct a phony identity for their obscurity, it is even easier to send a malicious message, start a rumor, or even upload an embarrassing photo online. But how can we stop it? How can we prevent or reduce cyberbullying? A meta-analysis has demonstrated how an anti-bullying prevention program has been proven beneficial in reducing bullying. In this article, four prestigious authors explain, “Assuming that mechanisms for traditional bullying and cyberbullying are similar, it is plausible to predict that general anti-bullying programs are short- and long-term effective regarding the prevention of cyberbullying and cyber-victimization” (Gradinger, n.p.). Although it is not a promising strategy, it is a first step solution to cyberbullying. However, including a multi-pronged approach along with
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