According to a study from the Cyberbullying Research Center, around 34 percent of teenagers have been found to be victims of cyber bullying. The i-SAFE foundation equates that to 1 in 3 teens. According to these statistics, there’s at least one person in three students at Perry Hall who have fallen victim to cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying can be present in many different ways – from sending a rude message on someone’s Snapchat to spreading a rumor through Instagram. Cyber bullying can cause anxiety, depression, and in severe cases, suicide.
“Cyberbullying is awful. The way kids can just sit behind a phone screen and write awful things about another person with no remorse is despicable. The effects it can have on people is the same as in-person bullying, but the fact that you can’t see your bully face makes it worse. You feel more helpless,” says Brooke Dorbit, sophomore.
With the presence of social media, cyber bullying has increased drastically. Social media is both good and bad (better adjectives), but has definitely opened the doors for young people to bully and get bullied more easily.
“I love social media and personally have never had any problems with it, but I can see how it can be an easy route for bullying to occur. I obviously don’t support cyber bullying and would speak up if I ever saw it because it’s not cool,” said sophomore Dylan Peroutka.
The Maryland Senate recently passed a bill to help strengthen a cyberbullying law. The law aims to try and close loopholes in the current law by increasing the penalties to three years and a $10,000 fine. The jail sentence would be increased to ten years when a minor is pushed to commit suicide. It also touches the now illegality on the posting of sexual information of a minor.
There are many things you can do to help a victim of cyber bullying. The same suggestion of “see something, say something” applies online. Don’t be a bystander. Report harmful content on social media to your parents/guardian, as well as the school. And for those who have been affected by it, you are not alone.