By Karen Solomon
The advent of internet in a global scale has been problematic in the sense that it has brought about intimidaton of people online,thus cyberbullying. This has become a thorn in people's lives year after year as they surf on the internet or receive unknown calls or text messages. Everyone who has access to the internet, young or old can be exposed to cyberbullying. Some have committed suicide as a result of continuous threats, others have been blackmailed and a number of people are living in fear as they now have emotional problems. The essence of this paper is to bring out the effects and causes of cyberbullying, as well as some of the solutions. These and other issues will be explained in detail, as this paper unfolds.
To commence with, cyberbullying is defined as intentional repetitive action and is carried out with the aim of harming others through technologies such as email, cellphone messaging,social networks , websites,chatrooms and instant messaging (Webber and Ovedovitz, 2018). It may also be defined as a type of intimidation within social media. From the definitions above, one may argue that cyberbullying contains an element of causing harm on the other person knowingly, many people are usually bullied by people they know, it might be in the form of revenge or wanting to settle a score.
It can be noted that, if one is exposed to family conflicts and experiences high levels of hostility , that person is likely to be deviant and will try to find solace maybe on social media which he or she will end up abusing. Thus, inflicting harm on others via content shared or comments made, as the media tends to be addictive.This is detrimental due to the fact that cyberbullying can be persistent. This means that digital devices offer an ability to continuously communicate, so it can be difficult for people experiencing cyberbullying to find relief. Hence, a cause of cyberbullying and how it leads to unrest to the one being bullied.
Apart from that, another cause of cyberbullying is the desire to be respected. Cyberbullying need to feel that power of having people in their hands, since power is "tasty", they will continue to bully more people . This usually happen in schools, students will be intimidated by other students they know but because they are afraid of them as the continually receive threats, they will not report. Then the cyber bully will feel more powerful.
Furthermore,victims of cyberbullying claim to experience emotional problems, they are not able to concentrate and their behaviour will be unstable. These people will have a difficult time in associating with others. Some will also feel insecure and others will commit suicide. For example in 2019, a young Norton girl killed herself after her boyfriend circulated her nude photos around the country. Young people will resort to taking their lives because they have other emotional and social problems.
In addition, if cyberbullying is taking place in schools. Students will loose their focus, some will also hate going to school and it will affect their attendance and performance at school. This can be seen by one getting low grades and some students will also be depressed. In light of the above views, one will be able to notice the effects of cyberbullying.
Since most of the information passed on the internet is permanent, a negative reputation of both the victim and the bully will be portrayed. This can have an impact on college admissions, employment and other areas of life. We are now living in a global village, for one to be considered 'clean', it means that even his or her life on cyber space should also be clean. This means that one should not be involved in stalking or blackmailing others on Facebook,Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram handles, just but to mention a few.
It is of paramount importance to highlight on the fact that, many countries has developed laws that are specifically designed to deal with cybercrime. Taking for instance in Zimbabwe, there's The Cyber Crime, Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill which was presented by Minister Ziyambi , so as to protect citizens from cyberbullying and harassment. This bill increases cyber security(techzim). It may also be noted that if one commits a crime on cyber space, that person will be jailed for ten years. The crimes include defamation of character, threatening others on cyberspace and blackmailing just but to mention a few. This shows that cyberbullying is a serious offence and it is seriously dealt with.
One may be advised to report any case of cyberbullying he or she may experience before it persists. Ignorance leads to nowhere, one will live in fear for the rest of their lives due to something they should have reported when it started. Again, people should be responsible with their gadgets, learning how to log out after they finish what they will be doing, to avoid hackers. A person's password is like a toothbrush, it should not be shared, this is how you'll help yourself to stop the rise of cyberbullying. People have lost thousands in their accounts, because one has exposed his or her password.
In conclusion, the cases of cyberbullying has escalated with the number of people exposed to mass media. It has sent many to early graves, others in Counseling sessions whilst others are struggling to pick themselves up. It has resulted in loss of identity, fear of technology and hatred of modernisation. Having being caused by a number of deviants, who usher social unrest, inflict pain on others so as to deal with their own problems, can only be solved by reporting to law enforcement agents like the police, before it goes to the extreme.
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