The time of digital technologies allows parents to stay in touch with their children regardless of their location, but carries a lot of risks that are associated with a new kind of bullying, cyber-bullying, which sometimes leads to serious consequences and suicide among adolescents. Cyber-bullying includes illegal actions that are carried out remotely by means of electronic communication and aimed at the psyche of a teenager. Various methods such as intimidation, threats, blackmail, and psychological violence are used for this purpose.
There are particular technologies that can be used for cyber-bullying: computers, mobile phones, and pagers. Cyber-bullying via these technologies is manifested as follows: someone sends reprehensible, degrading or threatening messages, emails, photos or movies; calls but does not speak; hosts objectionable messages or images on the message board on a website or chat; impersonates someone else in the chat or when sends text messages, gains access to the account of another person to frighten them or cause trouble.
Cyber-bullying negatively affects the victim. A person becomes secretive trying to restrict information that they obtain via the Internet or phone from relatives and friends. The victim experiences clear and sharp emotional depression and recession. Cyber-bullying causes abrupt changes in mood, behavior, might lead to insomnia and loss of appetite. However, the most dangerous effect of cyber-bullying is suicidal thoughts in children and teenagers. Megan Meier is the bright example of a victim who hanged herself because of cyber-bullying (McCarthy & Michels, 2009).
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King (2010) stated that the severity and breadth of cyber-bullying requires a response from schools, parents, communities and legislatures (p.847). The law enforcement can impact cyber-bullying by educating the community and collaborating with parents, teachers, school administration. It is the most prosperous method of fighting the cyber-bullying. It is essential to teach people, especially adolescents, to respond and prevent cyber-bullying. Gillespie (2006) identified two formats of educating teenagers: helping to understand possible dangers and ways to minimize the threat and educating adolescents, who do not believe in the harm of cyber-bullying (p.135). Another way to stop cyber-bullying is training the officers. This can have a positive effect on providing safety from cyber criminals. Cyber-bullying affects children, teenagers and even adults. Therefore, the complex of various methods of preventing this crime should be implemented.
References :Gillespie, A. A. (2006). Cyber-bullying and harassment of teenagers: The legal response. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, 28(2), 123–136.King, A. V. (2010). Constitutionality of cyberbullying laws: Keeping the online playground safe for both teens and free speech. Vanderbilt Law Review, 63(3), 845–884.McCarthy, T., & Michels, S. (2009, July 2). Lori Drew MySpace suicide hoax conviction thrown out. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=7977226&page