Understanding the background of Cyber Bullying
The work “Cyber” means to be related to technology, and the word “bullying” means seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce. The term Cyber- Bullying means to harm someone online. Social Media has made our lives so easy and more importantly quite exciting. Getting likes, comments, shares, subscribers, is a thrilling feeling even if the quantity is less. For some people, it may just be an escape from reality. Social Media gives a place to people who feel like they are being ignored because there is this whole world who seems to like you. Ask me, I am on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter, sometimes it is for validation and the others are just for boredom but either way, it’s fun. Social Media is addicting.
I can name at least a dozen things I love about Social Media but just as much as I want to believe that it is all good, it isn’t. With the growth of social media platforms, online hate for individuals, groups, and creators has been slowly increasing. The viewers have the most power on all platforms and it is because they are critics of their own. Many people choose to use their power wrongfully by bullying people. As viewers, we get the power to decide what we watch, like, share and comment, and sometimes using this power we have to destroy someone else, starts to seem intriguing. I mean think about it, you can ruin someone’s reputation within just a few clicks.
Cyber Bullying Reasons
Cyberbullying is very easy, all a person needs to do is hide behind a screen with an unknown user id and give hate to other creators. For some making fun of others and critiquing their work may just be fun. For others, it may be easier to spread hate online to fulfill their vendetta against a person. Cyberbullying is not much different from the bullying that happens offline and in schools. People do it for all sorts of reasons, jealousy, to ruin someone’s reputation, boredom, peer pressure, or even just to keep themselves entertained. Hurting someone for hurting you. Joking is fine, we all do that but there is a thin line between playful jokes and hurtful ones. Once someone starts getting canceled, nobody wastes a second to start writing hateful comments about them.
Bringing me to my next point, Cancel Culture. If you have been on the internet for quite some time now you should be familiar with the term “canceled”. At first, I wasn’t sure where I stood with cancel culture but slowly have come to realize that it is just another form of bullying. You cannot and should not hold a person accountable for the mistakes they made in the past. Everyone can change, and judging someone on the bases of who they were is unfair and even if they are still a person who makes the same mistakes, by sending hurtful messages, you are making the same mistake that they did. Sending death threats to someone is not okay. By writing comments about their body and their appearance is not okay. Making assumptions about an individual is not okay. Cyberbullying someone is not okay because whether you want to believe it or not whoever they may be, you don’t know their story.
It is easy to judge someone by the stories you have heard about them or the things they have said but by sending hateful messages and comments to them you are no better. Seeking revenge by ruining someone’s Reputation makes you no different. It is easy to dislike a video and comment on something bad about the creator but it’s just as easy to like someone’s video and comment something nice. Watching videos may be fun, watching series and movies may be fun but hating on someone isn’t, it’s just straight-up mean and disgusting. Bullying someone is not justified and should not be justified, whatever the reason may be.
Causes of Cyber Bullying
- Victims may feel like they deserve it
- Self Loathing
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Feeling Powerless
Some people may go into depression because of Cyberbullying. When you call some people by names or give them death threats you are causing their self-esteem to go down. A person may feel like they are all alone in a world full of people who don’t like them. Hurtful comments and messages will become a part of their life and at some point, they will be depressed because of all the hate they are receiving online, simply for being themselves. A person should not get that much hate that they learn to live with it. It’s not a good feeling and nobody should be used to getting hated on.
Victims may feel like they deserve it
A lot of people who get hated online think they deserve it and for some people that may be the case but for many, it isn’t. Calling a person, “fat”, “not talented”, “not smart” and “ugly” does not make them any of these things but for some people that is all it takes to believe them. Even if they funny, talented, smart, and a dozen other things they may choose to see the worst in themselves because of the comments. Some people just want to enjoy social media, that is what social media is for but by writing loathsome things about them will just affect the person mentally. They may not be able to look themselves in the eye because they believed something that they’re not.
When you get such comments, you start reflecting upon yourself, and you overlook all the good in you and choose to see the bad. A person can have loads of things that they love about themselves but for them, it may just be easier to look at the negatives. One negative comment can do that trick because truthfully all it takes is one. It takes only one comment to bring down your confidence and your self-esteem. We are have made mistakes. We are human and we all try to be better. It is only fair to give others the same chance we get every day. Just because an individual chooses to put their life on the media does not give anybody the right to judge them. Self-loathing is the worst thing a person can do to themselves.
As we have already established before that a person can go into depression because of cyberbullying. People may start to hurt themselves because that is easier than all the stress and anxiety they have to deal with on a daily bases. Sometimes they just want to feel something. They want to feel the pain or punish themselves for something people told them they needed to be punished. It can be a distraction, so they don’t have to deal with all the emotions that surround them. Sometimes it can be more serious. Worldwide, 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). When you tell someone to end their life, they think that is the better option. They want to end all the pain and suffering and that is why people have suicidal thoughts.
Ever the most powerful person does not have enough power when serving their audience. One group of audience can ruin someone’s career or even their life within a few seconds. Actors, YouTubers, TikTokers seem to have a lot of power but sometimes all it takes it some mean and hateful comments to ruin their entire career. The power lies in the viewer and by writing mean comments about a person or by bullying them you take away the very little power that they hold and you make them feel worthless. You make them feel that they aren’t good enough. That they don’t mean anything. The audience has a lot of power when it comes to what they can say and many people chose to use it wrongfully. They chose it to hurt others.
For everyone, the easiest thing that you can do is just ignore it. When someone is doing something inappropriate or that is out of line, speak against it but do not bully someone else. There are many ways that you can get your message across not having to lose your temper. You can choose to be civil about it and get your message across in a kind but the firm way so that the person understands their mistake. There are two ways of getting things done and both work, just one has more negative consequences than the other. You can be harsh, mean, and let the person know that they wrong in every way, or you can choose to be civil, kind, and tell a person they are wrong. The first one though can affect the person receiving the messages in the worst way possible. By hating on somebody you’re just as bad as the person you are hating on, or so much worse because you don’t have a good reason to bully someone.
Bullying is not justified in any form. You may think cyberbullying is not a big enough problem or that it’s not a problem that needs to be solved but that is a misconception that people have. Bullying is a big problem that needs to be addressed because believe it or not depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical bullying, cyberbullying, social bullying, verbal bullying because at the end of the day they all hurt the same. They all leave the person feeling lost and broken.
It’s never too late to change things. The change should start from…now. Social media should be a place to spread positivity. It should be a place of love and respect for every creator and every individual despite their race, gender, nationality, or sex. We’re all different people with different abilities, it’s time we appreciate each other and cherish our differences than rip each other apart because of the things that make us unique.