Anti-cyberbullying in Social Media: A Cure in the Poison
With an uptake in technology advancement, communication through phones, tablets, and computers is easier and more common than ever before. However, there are some major issues regarding this new wave of communication: the potential of cyber-bullying.
What is Cyberbullying and Who can be Affected by it?
Cyberbullying can exist in many forms, including hateful messaging or comments, racy pictures and sexting, violent threats, and other similar means of communicating negative content through the internet. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, though are hit sensations, particularly for the younger generation, can also be hot spots for cyberbullying.
Though cyberbullying can affect anyone regardless of age or platform, teenagers are more susceptible to the psychological damage cyberbullying might cause due to a social dependency on these sites and the fact that this may be their first experience with bullying of this nature.
They have yet to build up a defense mechanism for these harmful comments and are fresh to the pain they may bring. In some circumstances, cyberbullying can go so far as to lead a victim to resort to vicious acts on others and themselves. This is concerning to many parents and schools and have caused them to encourage awareness and promote kindness and fairness when using these sites.
A Silver Lining
What some don’t realize is that plenty of children have discovered that social media doesn’t have to be completely negative all the time.
Most have the ability to acknowledge that what may be considered as offensive to some, may not be offensive to others. They also understand that how a comment, video, or picture is perceived may not have been the direct intention of whoever posted it.
In fact, Sameer Hinduja, who wrote “How Social Media Helps Teens Cope with Anxiety, Depression, and Self Harm”, stated that “the vast majority of kids are doing the right things when it comes to social media” and that “only 12% of middle and high school students have cyber-bullied others… means that 88% have not”.
This 88% is more involved in beneficial acts of digital communication. When a feed, video, picture, or comment is uplifting and supportive, the results in anyone reading or watching it is overwhelmingly positive.
Examples of Positive Sites
Hinduja went on to say that social media sites such as YouTube and Tumblr are great platforms to send and receive support for multiple problems including mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and more.
YouTube uses visual imagery and voice to promote awareness on these topics, suggest remedies for these ailments, and relate to viewers as they reiterate the comforting fact that no one is alone.
Tumblr also uses visual imagery, mainly pictures, as well as creative writings to connect with others as the subject of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide is discussed. However, unlike YouTube, Tumblr is able to detect when these topics come up and will direct users to local and national organizations that can help those suffering to recover.
Another supportive site is RemovingChains, which offers a 24/7 live chat option that aims to help those who are victims of cyber-bullying or any other demeaning or hurtful act.
Lastly, BetterHelp is a site where anyone can speak with a professional psychiatrist about any dilemma that is concerning them.
Remember, that with every instant of cyber-bullying, there are much more instances of digital support.
Guest Author: Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn't been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information, therefore she occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn't run one for herself she loves contributing to others.