You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever been on 4chan, or spent your whole day on StumbleUpon, or even just spent five minutes on Tumblr: things get pretty weird, pretty fast. But aside from the downright dodgy, there is something lurking around the internet which I cannot get my head around. Bullying.
I see it every single day on my Facebook, and it’s mostly this generation. Teenagers attacking each other via comments or posts on pictures, for just about anything really: their clothes, their sexual orientation, even sometimes their hair styles. Some people would put it down to the fact that it is all just a ‘little bit of banter’. Now, while there is banter, there is definitely a thin line between banter and bullying.
This may be because nowadays, teenagers have started to become much more independent as a generation, and they’re not afraid to be bold and beautiful. They’re hitting out at society, and are much more inclined to dye their hair a ridiculous colour and implicitly state “hey, I’m different and unique” rather than follow the crowd. Teenagers are so much more rebellious in today’s world, and it’s getting more noticeable, especially on the internet.
Studies say that 95% of teenagers in the UK aged 12-17 are on Facebook, and that 70% of them see bullying on social networking sites. Cyber bullying is an issue, and it’s just the same as bullying in schools and in real life. They still have the same effects – the only difference being that when school is over the bullying is usually over, whereas online bullying offers no escape. With bullying happening on social networking sites, one can assume that the intensity of bullying in "real life" is increased. It’s a vicious circle. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person, and they’re right; it’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and not give a damn, because there is no one there to stop you.
If you want to read more about Cyber Bullying or how to prevent it, check out Stop Cyber Bullying.