CYBERBULLYING: CAUSES & EFFECTS
Velasco, Daphne Angelie S.
This paper aims to know the perspectives of the students from Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus about cyberbullying, and it’s causes and effects. The method used in this paper is descriptive survey method. The ten (10) respondents were tasked to answer the guide questions. As a result, half plus one student experienced being bullied and half experienced being a bully to someone. Fifty percent (50%) and more said that cyberbullies have reasons why they bully people, it may be valid or not. Most if not all says, Cyberbullying have negative effects on the victims so understanding what a person feels is the key. It was concluded that cyberbullying has to stop because it is pointless.
Bullying is an aggressive behavior that is hurtful and often cause embarrassment and intimidates the person being bullied. This can happen to anyone. The people being bullied often feels powerless and alone. Bullying isn’t just punching someone in the face or someone calling horrible names. Bullying is a lot more than that. Bullying isn’t new to the society, it existed long ago but thanks to the development of technology people especially teenagers are now being bullied at home. Cyberbullying is a serious problem that can leave the victims feeling helpless and overwhelmed. This has become one of the most difficult issues to resolve in our society today.
What is Cyberbullying? This may be defined as, any harassment that occurs via the Internet. Vicious forum posts, name calling in chat rooms, posting fake profiles on websites, and mean or cruel email messages are all ways of cyberbullying (Hardcastle, 2017). In other words, this is the use of various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites to harass an individual or a group. For example, a student is bombarded by anonymous threatening and taunting emails at home, even though there is no direct harassment at school. The victim has no idea who is sending the messages and starts to feel like everybody is against them. That student is being cyberbullied (Hardcastle, 2017).
Thirteen million people from ages 6 to 17 are victims of cyber bullying. Two million of these victims told no one about it and 8 percent tried to commit suicide due to it. For example, if you go on Facebook and you start chatting with a person you don’t like and start calling them names, that would be cyber bullying. If you threaten someone online that is cyber bullying. If you tell someone that they should just go kill themselves because of their appearance that is cyber bullying. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying (Laurio & Palacios, 2011).
This paper will focus on the perspective of students in Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus (CTU – AC) about the causes and effects of cyberbullying to oneself. The researcher used the descriptive survey method to gather data and interpret findings. The researcher used a guide questionnaire that serves as a tool in collecting necessary information. Ten (10) students from CTU-AC were asked to answer the guide questions.
RESULT AND DISCUSSIONYes No
F % F %
I experienced being cyberbullied 6 60 4 40
I experienced being a cyberbully 5 50 5 50
Cyberbullies do such things because they see it as a way to stay popular. 8 80 2 20
Hurting others makes cyberbullies feel powerful. 9 90 1 10
It helps cyberbullies cope with their own low self-esteem. 10 100 0 0
Cyberbullies think it will help them fit in with their peers. 10 100 0 0
Cyberbullies are angry and wants to take revenge. 10 100 0 0
Cyberbullies are bored and wants to be entertained. 8 80 2 20
Victims feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, and powerless. 10 100 0 0
Victims feel insecure and dissatisfied with who they are. 10 100 0 0
Victims feel angry and vengeful. 7 70 3 30
Victims feel anxious and depressed. 8 80 2 20
Victims become suicidal. 5 50 5 50
Victims feel exposed and humiliated. 10 100 0 0
Cyberbullies should be punished. 8 80 2 20
The table shows that out of 10 respondents, 6 or 60 percent of the respondents had experienced being cyberbullied and 4 or 40 percent did not. In statement two (2), half or 50 percent of the respondents experienced being a cyberbully. The researcher asked why they did this act, one answered ‘it is fun bullying someone’ then one said ‘because they want to take revenge’. Cyberbullies bully someone because they have reasons. In statement three (3), 8 or 80 percent answered yes cyberbullies do such things because they see it as a way to stay popular, 2 or 20 percent answered no maybe because they just don’t want to be popular. In statement four (4), 9 or 90 percent of the respondents answered yes hurting others makes cyberbullies feel powerful. In statement five (5), all of the respondents said cyberbullying helps cyberbullies cope with their own low self-esteem. In statement six (6), all respondents said cyberbullies think it will help them fit in with their peers. In statement seven (7), all of the respondents answered yes, the reason why there are cyberbullies because they are once a victim and that they are angry and wants to take revenge. In statement eight (8), 8 or 80 percent of the respondents think that cyberbullies are bored and wants to be entertained.
The victims of cyberbullying experienced some negative feelings. In statement nine (9), all or 100 percent of the respondents said that victims feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, and powerless. They find it difficult to feel safe for even in their home they experience bullying through their phones or computers. In statement ten (10), all respondents said that victims may feel insecure and dissatisfied with who they are. They will doubt their worth and value as a person, they will start to hurt or torture themselves. In statement eleven (11), 7 or 70 percent of the respondents said the victims feel angry and vengeful, as a result, these victims becomes a cyberbully themselves. In statement twelve (12), 8 or 80 percent said victims feel anxious and depressed. The victims feel this way since their attackers destroyed their self-confidence. In statement thirteen (13), half or 50 percent of the respondents said that after experiencing cyberbullying the victims become suicidal. They may think that committing suicide is the only way to escape the pain of being bullied. In statement fourteen (14), all respondents said that victims feel exposed and humiliated. As the quote said, “Nothing ever goes away once it is posted online.” If the cyberbully posts something embarrassing against a person, it will never ever be deleted.
In statement fifteen (15), 8 or 80 percent of the respondents said cyberbullies should be punished. In fact, in our country, the Philippines, a bill has been filed at the House of Representatives defining and penalizing “cyber-bullying,” or the act of posting rude, offensive or insulting messages against the victim on the internet (Yap, 2015). Under House Bill 5718, or the proposed “Anti Cyber-Bullying Act of 2015,” cyber-bullies shall face a penalty of fines ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, or imprisonment between six months and six years, or both, at the discretion of the court (Yap, 2015). However, 2 or 20 percent of the respondents said no cyberbullies should not be punished maybe because they think that cyberbullies are victims too and that they only seek revenge. The researcher asked why they opposed, they answered that these cyberbullies needs counseling only and they need someone that will help them realize the wrong things they’ve done.
To sum it up, Cyberbullying is the act of harassing someone through the use of internet. To put it differently, cyberbullies have reasons why they bully people so as concerned citizens we must try to understand them or talk to them face-to-face about what’s their motive of doing such things. The answer might surprise us, they might be a victim too. If we see victims of cyberbullying, we must not dismiss their feelings and we should try to talk to them too because those victims really need a friend they can trust. Everybody wants this issue to stop, so if you see someone being bullied, go and stop them. As Jeffrey Benjamin said, “You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.”
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