Cyber and Face-to-Face Bullying
I am convinced that cyber bullying is worse compared to traditional face-to-face bullying. The threat posed by cyber bullying is a lot more destructive for children being attacked. It results in many complications of victim’s life. Cyber bullying has come to displace the traditional face-to-face bully. It poses a threat of social implications (Mair, 98). New technology has enabled cruel individuals to hide behind it. Cyber bullies develop fake identities that allow them to hide, but still attack innocent users on the Internet. It is now more dangerous as compared to facing the attacker. This secret way of communication is able to ensure anonymity of fighting individuals. The intention of the threat is felt, but the addressee cannot determine the source of the threat.
Cyber bullying in this case can cause harm that cannot be felt during the traditional face-to-face bullying. When a victim of face-to-face bullying is attacked, the source of threat can be determined clearly disclosing the authenticity of the attack (Carlson, 34). The old-fashioned form of threatening could not enable many people to share the same network zone to conduct their attacks. The strive of parents to ensure the presence of censorship is caused by cyber bullying. Parents and even guardians continuously monitor the content made accessible by such technology that might compromise safety of their children. The use of technological gadgets (like cell phones and iPods) is discouraged. Parents even go a step further when they provide their children with mobile phones that closely monitor their activity. This is a significant step towards outdoing the wits of the bullies who bother other people. Face-to-face bullying can only be felt during the direct contact with the bully. Conversely, it cannot be felt when the contact is indirect. In such situations, dealing with a bully is much easier. On the other hand, meeting, trapping, or catching a cyber bully is difficult. It is clear that there is fear instilled in the hearts of parents and guardians. Both face-to-face bullying and cyber bullying instill fear. Measures to advance surveillance of parents are a result of fear for the safety of their children.
Cyber bullying has psychological implications that arise from long term effects on the victim. Unlike the direct contact with a bully, cyber attack is able to haunt the victim for a prolonged time, especially when it takes place online. Traumatic feelings are felt by the victim because of the harassment directed at him/her. These might include psychological complications like depression, anxiety, and stress pile up, after which the victim might suffer psychological breakdown. Compared to old-fashioned bullying, which could only affect physical and emotional state of a victim for only a short time in child’s life span, cyber bullying can even prompt suicide. Students who have had an experience with this type of bullying have shown reduced and poor interest in social life as well as emotional stress, effects of which are fatal. Based on this, cyber bullying is worse than face-to-face in its context. Depression is more often recorded among victims of cyber bullying, which is quite opposite to the traditional way, where both the victim and proprietor suffer (Rosenthal, 1998).
Cyber bullying is easier to perform for the proprietor. It can be carried out at any time from whichever location and still maintain anonymity of a bully. It is entirely opposite to traditional bullying, which occurs at specific location and time. The bully carries out the attack in a defined area and the timing of act must be suitable for effectiveness. Playgrounds and street corners are the locations where this traditional bullying takes place most often. Though cyber bullying allows a no escape for the victim. No aspect of evasive plotting is practical because the victim can be subjected to the perpetrator’s manipulation any time.
Traditional bullying or face-to-face bullying is deadly when compared to this contemporary form of bullying in terms of credibility. It becomes extremely easy for a perpetrator to follow the victim, get the address, and later attack that shows where one resides a serious approach will be undertaken. An example is an attack on the family where it prompts the victim to react quickly, such happens in extreme cases. Consider a direct threat of the attack on a victim at an unspecified time and place. It will certainly eat the conscience of the affected person. They will have to report this to the authority or even seek refuge elsewhere. These actions prove quite effective because the proprietor is assumed to easily reach the victim and fulfill his intentions.
Academic work suffers a powerful punch when bully kids spend a lot of time on the Internet in the quest to threaten their victims. Studying is given little time, and this results in poor performance at school and decreases interest in education. Despite being present at school, bullies still participate and indulge in this activity. This behavior moves from being fun and turns into addiction.
Looking at the aspect of affordability, it is critical that not every individual can access necessary gadgets to perform bullying activities. Due to different economic status, not everyone can afford these modern luxuries. During face-to-face bullying the proprietor can easily carry out their attacks because they need minimal facilities as compared to the use of computer and other communication system. Due to this technological growth, these bullies can launch their attacks quickly, unlike those who use face-to-face confrontation that needs planning (Bryant-Mole, 2009). Cyber bullying is, therefore, not as time consuming as compared to the traditional approach.
Passing of e-mails or pictures bearing threats by bystanders online makes them bullies as well, although their actions might be unintentional. Another key issue is that attacks of the ‘weak’ kids can persist for a long time. This is different from the traditional way that does not last long. Bullies, who use the traditional method do not spend a lot of their time in public posing to be dangerous to others. Face-to-face bullying does not support other party's involvement, making the activity personal.
Sending of messages or texts with materials that are perceived as attacks on others leave a trace behind. It becomes easy for information regarding threats or malicious attacks to be located and used against the sender (Sanders, 1996). This is a disadvantage of cyber bullying when compared to the traditional face-to-face bullying, which does not leave traces behind.
The only proper way to curb this problem is for parents to take responsibility for activities of their children. This is because majority of gadgets used in cyber bullying are bought by them. It will reduce cases of modern cyber bullying.
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