[Essay] The Impact on Teenagers of Being Involved in Cyberbullying

Santika Vania Putri

Our generation is known as a generation that is inseparable from social media. The impact of social media on young people is significant. These days, children are growing up surrounded by mobile phones; they even have their own Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. Teenagers can’t get enough of social media and will always keep themselves updated. Social media itself is actually a good thing, because it shows that our generation is dynamical and advancing in technology. But not everything about social media is good. Internet is another big world, someone from the other side of the world can know each other, news, gossips, and things can go viral pretty fast. By joining social media, we have to be aware of Cyber bullying. Yes, it is 2016 and the cyber bullying is still there. It may not be as severe as the famous Amanda Todd case, but there are still people out there bullied on social media.

According to Wikipedia, Cyberbullying is the act of harming or harassing via information technology networks in a repeated and deliberate manner. Bullying through social media can include posting negative comments on pictures or videos, posting photos or videos to make fun of others, and posting abusive posts to intimidate other users. Cyberbullying can happen to anybody, even on someone who is pretty famous; celebrities or social media influencers. People out there will judge you no matter what are you doing and by posting negative comments on you, it is called cyberbullying. They may say that they are just stating their opinion, but if it is harming the others, I don’t think it’s only ‘stating an opinion’.

The most common cyberbullying these days are comments on social media. On July 15th, 2014, a Youtuber named thepaleskin posted a video called “You Look Disgusting”. This video went viral not too long after it released because the message inside. On the video, it shows actual comments that she received on her social media about her appearance. People said that she is being a fake, while what she is trying to hide is her insecurities. This can be a great example of how people bullied the others without even knowing that it is a bullying. Just by posting negative comments, it can make the other person feel bad about them, decrease their self-esteem, and make them depressed. That is why social media is not the safest place for teenagers because they are in the age of puberty and full of sensitivity. A depressed teenager can lead to a suicide, like Amanda Todd did. Obviously, we do not want that to happen again, but that’s what happened a lot to most teenagers. A British film called “Cyberbully” is another great example of how a teenager can be so depressed by being bullied online. The main character, Casey, just like any other teenagers, didn’t really pay attention to how important privacy was on social media. After she got the chance to hack on her ex-boyfriend’s twitter, she got blackmailed by an anonymous. Being an anonymous means that you can be anyone and you can be anything. The fact that your face is hidden behind the screen allows you to freely intimidate the other person. That is what exactly what bully does; they emotionally abuse and make you think you have no one beside you. At the end of the movie, Casey finally realized that he/she is nothing if she stops talking to them, so she stopped and slammed her laptop shut.

Not only depression that teenagers are going to go through when they are being bullied online, here are some of them:

· Not wanting to go to school

· Sudden self-esteem issues

· Being exclude from social events

· Spending a lot of time alone

So as you can see, social media is a great place to interact with a lot of people. It is a great platform to relief your stress from the real world, but this thing is a whole wide world. Obviously, it is exactly not a safe place sometimes for you to just speak your mind, because without you knowing, you may hurt someone’s feeling by ‘speaking your mind’. I don’t think there is a way to stop Cyberbullying, but we can prevent them for being a bigger problem. Especially us, teenagers, who are usually being targeted and being the bully. Firstly, protect your password. Password is there to protect our privacy on social media from getting hack, even if there is a password, some people are still trying to hack on our account. Don’t leave your password anywhere and give out any information about your password to anyone else. Second, think before you post anything online. As I said before, on the Internet things can go viral and become big so fast. Do not post anything that may compromise your reputation, because people will judge you on how you appeared online. Last but not least, don’t be a cyberbully yourself. Teenagers are often being bullied by their friends, so if you don’t want to be bullied, treat others the way you want to be treated. By being a bully means that you are reinforcing the idea that such behavior is acceptable.

References:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWTRwj9t-vU

2. https://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/maisie-williams-cyberbullying?utm_term=.qvNymQkPE#.wa13o7MJb

3. I’ve seen a lot of selebask or celebgram a.k.a social media influencers are being bullied by people on their Instagram or Askfm accounts.

4. A movie called ‘Unfriended’

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