Cyber Bullying: The Technological Hurt

Cyber bullying is a form of threatening that happens through different technology. It can be the sending of mean, threatening, and hurtful messages through e-mail, text message and social media sites.  It’s the spreading of slanderous rumors about someone, sexting and taking and showing unflattering pictures of a person without permission. This type of violence can cause lasting, harmful effects on the victims that endure it. Statistics say that cyber bullying is prevalent among teens and adolescents, and has been known to lead to anxiety, low self- esteem, depression, and in many cases, suicide.

Shayla Barfield, freshman, Communication major, says “It’s wrong. I think any type of bullying is wrong. It’s not right to make fun of someone because they are different. It is extremely bad because it leads to suicide and trauma. I think people should be able to track the cyber bullies.”

Many teens and adolescences in today’s society have been victims of cyber bullying. I am one of the many teens. I endured cyber bullying for the first time just this year. During this semester, I decided to make a Tumblr blog where you are able to post pictures, videos, links, message people, and follow people and get followers, sort of like a mixture between Facebook and Twitter.

On Tumblr, you can message your followers, people you follow, and people you don’t follow. When messaging someone, you can message them from own blog or you can message them under the anonymous button. The anonymous button can be used if you do not have a Tumblr blog or if you are too nervous to ask under your own blog. Sometime people take advantage of this option and use the anonymous button to send an “Anon hate” message. These messages may include “Your blog sucks!”; “Everybody hates you!”; and “Why don’t you go kill yourself?”

I know these messages from personal experience. Just a few months after making my Tumblr blog, I received my first Tumblr “anon hate” message. This message said “You’re Fucking Annoying.” This message hurt me deeply. I didn’t understand what I did to deserve a message like that. After reading the message a few times, I cried by myself in my room. I couldn’t believe that someone would send me a message that mean. I was wondering what I did to deserve having such a hateful message sent to me.

After some time passed, the anonymous hate messages stopped coming. I felt that I was finally done with the people who had sent me those rude and mean messages. Just two months after the messages stopped, I started receiving them again. The messages I received said things like, “Go ahead and delete your blog, no one cares, stop being dramatic”; “Stop sending yourself anon messages to make yourself feel better. It’s really pathetic”; and “I am unfollowing you because your blog sucks. That’s why you are losing so many followers.”

These messages really started to take a toll on me emotionally. I couldn’t handle the fact that I was receiving these hurtful and rude messages. At one point in time, I was planning on deleting my blog so that I wouldn’t have to endure the pain. Many of my loyal followers convinced me to keep it.

Freshman Lauren Hawkins said, “It’s terrible, it’s a terrible thing. It is very detrimental to students and it should be stopped. Cyber bullying should be brought to a school’s attention, if it’s happening to a student. The school should be involved in stopping cyber bullying. ”

“Culture and communication either off or on the internet are the same. If there’s bullying and rudeness on the internet, it is because of our culture. The problem with bulling on the internet is that there are not any consequences. A bully is usually a coward and it’s a great place for a coward because it hides who they are,” said Professor and Chair of the Communication and Cinema Department Debra Vance.

Cyber bullying is a very serious subject even right here on our campus. Last year, McDaniel College introduced the “McDaniel Memes.” These were images with the Green Terror mascot with captions around it, which started to target certain people and groups. Some of these messages were simply cruel and offensive.

Cyber bullying is such a huge problem on and off campus, but there are ways to stop and prevent it.  If you are being bullied, don’t respond or retaliate. Instead, block the person who is bullying you, save the messages, and then report the bully. Don’t be afraid to tell someone talk to somebody about the cyber bullying done by to you.

If you are not being bullied, be a friend to those who are. Be the person that they can talk to. If you know someone who is doing the cyber bullying, don’t be a bystander. Confront them or report them. These steps can make someone who is hurting feel a lot safer.