Essay Sample on Cyberbullying in Social Media Networking Sites

Published: 2023-10-29
Essay Sample on Cyberbullying in Social Media Networking Sites
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Violence Social networks Bullying Social media
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1766 words
15 min read

Currently, social media networking sites have become very popular across the globe due to their improved efficiency in communication and interactions. Surveys indicate that approximately 79% of the American population are in various social media sites, and the number is expected to increase to approximately 257 million users by the year 2023 (Alim, 2017). Although social media has numerous benefits, it is linked to the increasing cases of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying refers to the use of the internet to intimidate, cause harm, and harass other people. In most cases, cyber-bullying behaviors include sharing negative information, sharing private information concerning an individual, sending intimidating posits, and sharing harmful and false information about people (Chan et al., 2019). In the recent past, cases of cyberbullying have become highly common, particularly among teenagers. A survey on cyberbullying found out that approximately 59% of teenagers within the United States claim that they have been victims of cyberbullying, the study also found out that currently approximately 47% of teenagers are being bullied online (Huang & Chou, 2010). Based on these statistics, it is clear that this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by responsible agencies such as law enforcement. This paper aims to discuss the cause, effects, and measures of cyberbullying among teenagers.

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The Factors Causing Cyberbullying

Several key factors have triggered increased cases of bullying in various social media sites. Some of these factors include first, the anonymous form or nature of the internet. Due to the high number of people using different social media sites across the country, most bullies tend to feel anonymous, thus motivating them to express their aggression as well as they like without fear of encountering any consequence. The internet freedom that allows the use of mysterious and anonymous names makes them feel untouchable and powerful since they know that no one can do anything to them nor find out their exact names. With this assurance, they tend to even attack and bully people in harsher ways than they would do in real life.

Secondly, reduced parent supervision. According to a survey conducted by Arizona state university, the teenagers who had low parent supervision were more vulnerable to bullying than those under constant supervision (Rao et al., 2018). Most teenagers who are not closely monitored usually engage more in internet use, thus making them more vulnerable to cases of cyberbullying. Parents should, therefore, be at the forefront of monitoring the child's activities, for instance, by regulating the things they do in the internet, such as the kind of friends that they interact with. Thirdly, drugs, and substance abuse. In most cases, teenagers who engage in drug abuse usually develop an aggressive behavior that makes them engage in cyberbullying. Reports on drug abuse in the United States indicate that drugs usually elevate social media user's confidence to intimidate and harass other people, particularly teenagers, without fear (MartĂ­nez et al., 2019).

Effect of Cyberbullying on the Teenagers

Cyberbullying has several effects on both the perpetrator and the victim; some of these effects include, first, Causes Mental Effects. Cyberbullying usually results to increased cases of frustration, distress, and anger among the victims. This effect makes the victim to engage in various activities such as drug abuse and joining the virtual world, whereby they create new identities and hide their real ones (Knopf, 2015). The cyberbully victims also develop low self-esteem, which hinders their confidence, particularly when they are around people. Secondly, withdrawal from families and friends. Withdrawal from family members and friends enables them to feel and experience a sense of protection, particularly from the outside world. The victims also find it hard to reveal the experiences to the parents, particularly due to the shame and fear that they will disappoint them. In some cases, cyberbully victims usually give up withdrawing from friends and families and decide to kill themselves to avoid the shame and pain of cyberbullying. Thirdly, school refusal, if a teenager is bullied by a schoolmate, he or she refuses to attend school in order to avoid being bullied by the perpetrator. This may affect the teenager's grades due to the limited concentration and attention in class. On other occasions, the teenager may also decide to drop out of school to avoid humiliation and embarrassment.

Fourth, the use of drugs and alcohol. Children who go through extreme levels of cyberbullying express low self-esteem and often withdraw from other people. This makes them to engage in drug and substance use in order to gain confidence and overcome any fear that may have been instilled during the bully. Some of the commonly abused drugs by cyberbully victims include alcohol and marijuana (Watts et al., 2017). Fifth, the cyberbully victims also develop other health-related complications such as stomach problems, headaches. In most cases, these health problems are often related or seen in victims of stress. The affected victim may also develop severe weight loss because of skipping meals and severe sleeping disorders (Nixon, 2014). If these health conditions are not noted and treated in advance, the teenager becomes vulnerable to other severe health complications such as cardiovascular diseases.

Parents and Educators Role in Preventing Cyberbullying

Both the parents and the educators have an essential role to play in preventing the increasing cases of cyberbullying among teenagers, particularly because they are constantly engaged with the children and are normally aware of their daily behaviors and routines. Some of the ways in which the parents and educators can prevent cyberbullying include, first, educating the children on bullying and its effects. The teachers and the parents should try to teach the teenagers about the different types or forms of cyberbullying and the impacts that they are likely to have on them. They should also teach teenagers how to handle the bullies without being crushed, for instance, by developing various assertive strategies of coping with bullying. Secondly, they can observe and assess whether the teenager has any signs of bullying. Teenagers are not always vocal about being bullied; instead, they usually try to remain quiet about the situation. Therefore, the parents and educators should be keen on determining any sign of cyberbullying, such as poor performance in school, depression, anxiety, and withdrawal from friends. Identifying these signs will help the parent and the educator to have an open-ended conversation with teenagers to identify what they are experiencing and take the necessary steps to help them overcome the bullies (Nixon, 2014). Thirdly, they can help to set and implement boundaries with technology. Parents and educators can reduce the amount of time that children spend on various social media sites. This can be achieved by allocating the teenager's other duties, such as homework and household chores, to keep them occupied all the time.

Assessing Whether Updating the Automatic Cyberbullying Detection Can Help to Reduce the Increasing Cases of Cyberbullying

Automatic cyberbullying detection is a digital tool that is used to detect, intervene, and prevent incidences of cyberbullying and send messages that encourage behavior reflection. Since the implementation of automatic cyberbullying detection system, it has not been much effective since it is difficult to identify and capture the incidences in real-time (Rosa et al., 2019). This is mainly caused by the operationalization directed towards cyberbullying by the automatic cyberbullying detection system. However, if more improvements are introduced in the automatic cyberbullying detection system, cases of cyberbullying are likely to reduce since they will be identified easily.

The Environment Condition That Impacts Social Networking Bullying Behaviour.

Most of the social networking bullying behaviors are usually triggered by various environmental conditions such as, first, being brought up in hostile family whereby the both and parents and friends do not show any love and support towards the children. This makes the children grow with the perception that other people also deserve to be treated in the same way they were brought up. Such children tend to be extremely violent towards other social media users and often in cyberbullying. Secondly, being introduced to drug and substance abuse at an early age. The children who are brought up in families that engage in drug and substance use also tend to engage in drug use at a very young age. This makes them aggressive and violent towards other people and friends on various social media sites. Recent studies on cyberbullying indicated that approximately 50% of the cyberbully were either brought up in hostile families that were engaged in drug and substance use (Ashktorab & Vitak, 2016). To control the cyberbullying behavior portrayed by the drugs and substance abusers, the relevant agencies have to rehabilitate the parties involved in order to enlighten them how to the drug use and violent behavior.


Cyberbullying is a serious issue affecting most people across the country, particularly the youth and teenagers. Cyberbullying is considered to be the use of the internet to intimidate, cause harm, and harass other people. It is mainly caused by several factors such as anonymous form or nature of the internet and reduced parental supervision. In most cases, cyberbullying results to various severe effects such as mental health effects, withdrawal from family and friends, and engaging in drug use. To reduce cases of cyberbullying, parents and educators should educate children on bullying and its effects and assess whether the teenager has any signs of bullying.


Ashktorab, Z., & Vitak, J. (2016, May). Designing cyberbullying mitigation and prevention solutions through participatory design with teenagers. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3895-3905).

Alim, S. (2017). Cyberbullying in the world of teenagers and social media: A literature review.

Chan, T. K., Cheung, C. M., & Wong, R. Y. (2019). Cyberbullying on social networking sites: the crime opportunity and affordance perspectives. Journal of Management Information Systems, 36(2), 574-609.

Huang, Y. Y. & Chou, C. (2010). An analysis of multiple factors of cyberbullying among junior high school students in Taiwan. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1581-1590.

Knopf, A. (2015). Cyberbullying linked to mental health problems in teens, protective factor seen in family dinners. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 31(1), 4-5.

Martínez-Monteagudo, M. C., Delgado, B., Inglés, C. J., & García-Fernández, J. M. (2019). Cyberbullying in the university setting. Relationship with family environment and emotional intelligence. Computers in Human Behavior, 91, 220-225.

Nixon, C. L. (2014). Current perspectives: the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent health. Adolescent health, medicine, and therapeutics, 5, 143.

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