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Power of Social Media to Insult and Bully

By:   •  April 29, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,761 Words (8 Pages)  •  23 Views

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Power of Social Media to Insult and Bully

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Power of Social Media to Insult and Bully

Being on social media and using different applications to stay in touch with your entire circle is becoming common with each passing day but such a trend is welcoming a number of adverse effects linked to it. We are free, and we have the freedom to utter and express everything through these platforms. We are allowed to say as many words as we want to while ignoring the fact that they can hurt someone. They can bully others and they are so powerful that they can turn someone’s life upside down. People are happy as they have the freedom of expression and speech, but that freedom comes with a number of responsibilities that are not practiced by the users. The aim of this paper is to contend that social media allows users to insult, bully, and threaten others without any fear of punishment.

It is a common notion that nobody cares what others think of you or speak to you while being on social media due to the freedom that certain platforms offer to them. Well, cyber-bullying is quite prevalent these days and people are getting into the concept due to the fact that no one is going to hold them accountable for their excessive use of freedom (Wölfer & Scheithauer, 2014). The concept of cyber-bullying is evident on social media platforms and the increase in such a trend is due to the freedom offered by these sites.

If we focus on the term cyber-bullying, the bullying occurring by means of digital network or devices, which includes the use of computer, tablets, phones and other gadgets. It is not limited to websites only as the concept has expanded with the passage of time (Besag, 2010). Such a situation is quite an alarming one as it has outreached its conventional means and now has reached to everything that is in our use. It is evident from a number of recent research studies that people have reportedly committed suicide due to cyber-bullying (Wölfer & Scheithauer, 2014). A huge number of people have gone through such a phase and the same number has indulged in the practice as well.

As per the statistics, over 4,400 people have committed suicide due to bullying that they faced on social media platforms, which is something that cannot be overlooked too easily as these are not the numbers only (Singh, 2017). They were individuals who were a part of such world and who committed such an act owing to the irresponsible usage of freedom being offered by several social media platforms. It is significant to understand that having freedom does not allow anyone to act mean and selfish and hurt the sentiment of others. If bullying leads to suicidal acts, then it needs to be stopped.

With advanced technology and accessibility, transferring images, sharing them, taking screenshots and blackmailing others have become quite common these days and it is the major cause of bullying. If anyone denies the power of social media, they are being ignorant. The uprising of social media has become one of the biggest technological advancements. As per the statistics are given by PEW research center, 76% of the total Facebook’s users utilizing Facebook on daily basis and it is considered to be one of the most important and influential platforms with 2.7 billion users worldwide (Wölfer & Scheithauer, 2014). People having access to such a platform are quite active and the number is increasing rapidly. One can easily infer the influence and its lasting impacts by keeping in view the number of users. These platforms have played an important role in limiting the direct communication between people and have limited them to a virtual world which they believe is the reality.

People are made to believe that they have the privacy that they deserve while being on social platforms. They are made to believe that they can voice their opinion and they can express whatever they want to. It is important to notice here that there are certain restrictions that are evident in case you violate any conditions. Making connections through platforms is commendable as it allows you get in contact with more people. In addition to it, it must be much-admired for its role of giving voice to people who remained unheard for a long period of time. These sites are normally used for propaganda as well and there are a number of examples to support these claims. The utilization of these sites in war-stricken areas or achievement of political agendas is common examples to mention here.

The effects of social media on children and teenagers are quite negative as they are immature and the exposure that they get from social media sites is too much for them. If we focus on the effects of social media, there are more negative impacts as compared to the positive ones. Exposing young children to the content that is inappropriate for them is another major drawback in that regard. The content that is available and easily accessible on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. is mostly inappropriate for young children.

Freedom of expression on social networking sites is usually practiced through comments and posts (Singh, 2017). Nasty comments are common all over the sites and people are not afraid of any action being taken against them, thus, they do it openly and frequently. Social media websites must be limited as they have huge psychological effects. They affect the self-image, self-esteem etc. it is significant to notice here that people get a feeling of lack of confidence and powerlessness while they face rude or harsh comments on social media. Such an issue directly affects the self-esteem, confidence level and mental state of the individuals. Depression and suicidal acts have become these days and most of them are the result of cyber-bullying. As per the national bullying survey, it was reported by 91% people that their complaints with regard to online bullying were not continued and were simply ignored as no actions were taken to deal with them. Such huge numbers make other users vulnerable to such acts as people who are involved in bullying are least concerned about punishment as they know there would not be any strict action against them.

Breaching privacy of others is quite common on social media. Apparently, people feel protected due to the privacy options they have at the start but their content is easily accessible by their network. Victims of cyber-bullying feel sad and depressed in the initial stages and if the bullying continues, they can have serious psychological outcomes. It largely affects the confidence of the individuals. The power of such a tool and the freedom it offers can be analyzed and understood in a clear manner from the fact that things occurring in the virtual world can have a negative impact on an individual both physically and mentally while living in the real world. It further leads to a number of family problems, confidence issues, self-esteem issues etc. That is dangerous in a sense that people think of suicidal acts once they become a victim of depression.

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