Cyberbullying and it’s Effects on Teen Suicide
The 21st century has witnessed the increased integration of technology and social media platforms, becoming a crucial aspect of teenagers’ way of life. Technology is linked to numerous benefits if it is incorporated appropriately. This element makes it quite a worthwhile involvement to teenagers as they can use it for various purposes—for instance, communication, learning, spending, amongst other reasons. Nonetheless, notwithstanding the numerous advantages, technology also exhibits shortcomings. If not utilized for precise purposes, adolescents may resolve to access inappropriate content, conveyance of raw films and images, and distressing other individuals through social media platforms—for instance, Twitter, and Facebook. For a majority of American Youths aged between the age of 10 and 24, suicide ranks as the leading cause of death. The recent upsurge in teenage suicidal cases has motivated attempts to identify and comprehend the causes of suicide amongst teenagers. Among all these, cyberbullying is the most widespread misuse of the advances in technology.
According to Barlett Gentile and Chew (2016), cyberbullying is considered as an aggravation that is in the kind of intimidation through electric gadgets such as mobile handsets, tablets, and computers that are regularly witnessed among teens. Hinduja and Patchin (2019),argues that the impacts of cyberbullying are mental. Several qualities that may be common with cyberbullying entail showing extreme assertiveness and persistent recurrence done by a group of individuals or a single person in contradiction to other individuals or directed towards a single individual. Cyberbullying is also a deed that is envisioned to result in harming specific groups of individuals. Instances of cyberbullying entail cyberstalking, displaying incriminating pictures, conveying insults, and spreading malicious gossip. From these impacts, it is apparent that there is a requirement for the enhancement of guidelines against cyberbullying to eradicate the menace and reduce cases of suicide.
Advances in technology continue to experience an upsurge in the use of the internet, therefore resulting in cases of cyberbullying. According to Hinduja and Patchin (2019), recent findings show that 94 percent of teenagers can access the internet and are further interested in the growth of social networks. A majority of the constant network users utilize various platforms for the purpose of bullying (Barlett Gentile & Chew, 2016). Moreover, technology is believed to promote cyberbullying and increased cases of suicide due to the various platforms authorizing the aspect of anonymity or the creation of fake accounts. Amongst all internet users, fifty percent represents individuals that assume a different identity. Amongst the fifty-nine percent of individuals, seventeen percent tend to portray a different identity to justify being mean to other individuals and avoid any form of trouble.
Reasons for Increase in Suicide Cases
Increased cases of cyberbullying are attributed to various factors. Foremost, various social media platforms have not implemented any surveillance mechanisms and supervision, therefore, leading to an upsurge in cases of cyberbullying and suicide. According to Monni and Sultana (2016), most parents in developing nations around the globe have little or no knowledge of technological advances, making it difficult to monitor the teenagers’ activities on the internet. Furthermore, this makes it challenging for parents to have an idea of dealing with cases of children that may encounter cases of cyberbullying. Seemingly, cyberbullying occurs in the virtual space making it challenging to regulate and punish acts of cyberbullying along with authorities responsible for administering punishment. Another critical reason is that identifying the source of bullying and the assailant is occasionally demanding. This makes it difficult to institute any legal action despite the existence of laws and regulations that are aimed at curbing cyberbullying.
According toBrailovskaia Teismann and Margraf (2019), 15.5 percent of teenage children may have been cyberbullied nationally in the 12 months preceding the survey conducted in 2019. Recent studies indicate that girls are more probable of becoming targets and culprits of cyberbullying as compared to teenage boys. The effects attributed to cyberbullying on teenagers may result in critical mental health-related issues and also social problems. Several reported health-related issues resulting from cyberbullying include cases of anxiety and depression that lead to a surge in suicidal cases—a specific case of suicide as a result of cyberbullying involved a 12-year-old girl in the United States. The family’s lawyer stated that months of social media assaults depicting the girl as a loser with no friends led to the subsequent suicidal case. Despite the case being publicized, the parents made an attempt to reach out to the schools for swift actions in regards to the case but failed to get any form of assistance.
Modes of Preventing Cyber Bullying Amongst Teenagers
As cyberbullying gains much attention, an extensive characterization has started taking shape within various state laws. Although not approved in every state, a standard description in comparison with a broader acknowledgment of the challenges makes tackling the vague problem quite easy. According to Hinduja and Patchin (2017), the main challenge is that technology will unavoidably continue its advancement. Therefore, as technology advances, global anti-bullying rules and regulations ought to continue evolving at a comparable rate. Most of the challenges experienced by both federal and state administrations in regard to cyberbullying are preventable for learning institutions and communities. This is achievable at the local level by implementing measures that limit the impacts of cyberbullying.
To curb the rising suicide cases in teenagers attributed to cyberbullying, it is vital to fund evidence-based interventions and deterrence efforts. Since new technological advances are continuously launched, the areas where online assaults tend to be committed likewise increase and continuously change. Because of the ever-changing technology landscape, it is gradually vital to finance evidence-based intercessions and preclusions. Interventions linked to online security may focus on several approaches. For instance, digital knowledge, peer sustenance, resolution of conflicts, and witness interventions. It is also imperative to scrutinize the most effective strategy combination at specific stages of development. Investing in research that evaluates interventions, and studies that examine factors that fortify cyber aggression and cyberbullying deeds is vital in enlightening best routines on a greater scale. Despite the implementation of certain aspects, more significant engagement is required on specific points. Legislative bodies are in a better position to strengthen and improve the synchronization of existing actions on cyber aggression and cyberbullying.
The other mechanism entails enhancing preparation and support services. Policy and government attempts to tackle cyber aggression and cyberbullying have remained inadequate in virtually every nation around the universe. Administration ought to be aggressively engaged with groups, aid organizations, learning institutions, and other critical interested parties and backing them in undertaking online safety concerns. This can be done more efficiently through proper preparation, upskilling, and proper funding. For instance, there are numerous advantages of generating quality online safety training and the school workforce’s preparation. They include enhancing the awareness and self-assurance in being able to involve teenagers on some issues, increasing early exposure of crucial occurrences, and more rapid recommendations to support services that may mitigate potential ills.
The other prevention mechanism involves highlighting the subject of online security in the community. Enlightening campaigns and mass media knowledge approaches are vital in generating public attention to critical concerns in relation to online security. Cases could be data on cyber aggression and cyberbullying, rules and regulations associated with these concerns, instructions on the management of online threats, and raising cognizance on support services. Partnerships between groups, charity organizations, service providers, and scholars working in this field can assist in the development of appropriate campaigns that increase cognizance. Additionally, training surrounding online threats, digital residency, and digital knowledge ought to also be entrenched into school programs for teenage children. This contributes to the provision of uninterrupted commitment to online security concerns at fundamental phases of development.
In the 21st century, the utilization of technology and other types of social networking platforms is a critical aspect of human beings. There are numerous technological advances and have various impacts on individual’s lives. The numerous advantages notwithstanding, the swift growth of the internet hastens the speed in which cyberbullying has an impact on individuals’ lives, indirectly or directly. Nonetheless, eradicating the social ill of cyberbullying has proved to be a significant challenge despite the existence of stringent measures against the menace. This is a result of the technological enhancements that support internet anonymity. Every individual has a role to play in eradicating the menace to reduce the rising cases of suicide amongst teenagers. Because cyberbullying is a regular occurrence for most teenage children, parents, tutors, and other stakeholders have a significant role in the prevention of the vice. Stringent policies and guidelines ought to be implemented for individuals that fail to adhere to regulations at all levels of governance.