The typical cell phone today has a variety of convenient options for people to access on-the-go, including internet access. According to uswitch.com, “Motorola, on April 3rd, 1973, were the first company to mass produce the first handheld mobile phone (uswitch.com).” Over the years, it has become more of a habit to send messages to another person’s phone or through social media, to communicate with them instead of calling directly using their phone number. Many people would argue that sending a quick message is easier and quicker than to call someone on the phone.
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I can see their point of view in this instance, but beings that I am a mother of 3 children, I also think about the risks that kids run into being able to access the World Wide Web so easily. The Dictionary reads, “Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature (Dictionary).” Understanding the risks of Cyberbullying is just as important as understanding how to handle it if you become a victim or if you know of someone being a victim of this horrible crime.
There are different forms of cyberbullying which includes sending messages to a person’s cell phone, posting entries on Twitter for anyone to see, sending private messages through Facebook, etc. Some victims are bullied by people that aren’t a part of their lives and others will sadly be bullied by ones they do know. It seems as if targeting people on their personal Facebook and Twitter pages are the easiest and most chosen choice by the bullies, in my own opinion. It appears, bullies believe saying cruel and hurtful words to people behind a computer is doing no harm. The reality of it, it’s against the law and at times, it can be even more traumatizing then if the victim was physically assaulted. In the state of Oregon, “telephonic harassment is a Class B misdemeanor. This offense could accrue a fine of up to $2,500, up to six months in jail, or both. If the bully charged has been involved in distributing sexual or nude images of someone underage, these crimes are classified as Class A misdemeanors. The consequences include a fine of up to $6,250, up to a year in jail, or both. (Romano Law).” This level of punishment seems so minuscule to me, considering these victims lives may have been destroyed by all the embarrassment they endured by their cyberbully.
Adults and children who are cyberbullied become highly depressed due to their tormenting treatment. They develop the feeling of severe emotional pain, sadness and disgusted with themselves that they feel they have no other way out, so they take their own lives. Children as young as 6 years old are committing suicide due to being cyberbullied. I am not sure if these children are quite understanding the consequences of hanging themselves. I believe, they have it in their mind that living is too painful for them to continue any longer and search for the means to stop the pain they are feeling every day.
In the times that I have heard of another child taking their lives, I always wonder what went wrong to where they never got the help that they needed. Is it possible that maybe the child didn’t tell anyone, therefore, there wasn’t anyone to help them before they got to the point of not wanting to live? Did the people in their lives take the proper actions to help these victims and protect them from their abusers? Parents and school teachers need to be aware of the signs in our children today, such as: body language, sudden change in behavior, and listen to how others are talking to each other. People need to make it aware that cyberbullying is NOT acceptable for anyone, at any place or time. We as society need to understand the severity of the damage it is causing for the victims and their families. There is no excuse for it. Cyberbullies need to be accounted for their actions before we lose anymore of our precious angels from such mean and horrible treatment.
When the World Wide Web went live to the world in August of 1991 (Bryant), it has created a virtual world that I believe, people weren’t quite certain how it would impact peoples lives in the negative ways. The internet has provided a way for the bullies to hide behind their computers to belittle, intimidate, and harass others in the world. We must come together to protect one another, especially our children. Protect the victims and punish the bullies.
Bryant, Martin. 20 years ago today, the World Wide Web opened to the public. 6 August 2011. 8 December 2018. .
Dictionary. n.d. 2018 December 2018. .
Romano Law, P.C. n.d. 8 December 2018. . statista. August 2018. 8 December 2018. . uswitch.com. History of mobile phones and the first mobile phone. 6 April 2018. 8 December 2018. .
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