The Scary Realities of Social Media
By: Samantha Katz
PTS Falconer Staff
May 5, 2016
While it may be entertaining, social media is a whirlwind of disaster. Social media has created a new type of abuse, called cyber-bullying, which is extremely prominent in our online lives, especially as tweens, teens, and young adults. Once something is posted online, it can never and will never be taken back.
The dangers of social media affect a huge amount of people – a study found from the i-Safe Foundation shows that 1 in 3 teens have received threats online. More than 25% of teens have received constant bullying online, through social media, and teen suicide rates have skyrocketed due to the cyber-bullying present in social media. 20% of those who are cyber-bullied have had suicidal thoughts and 1 in 10 actually do attempt it. These statistics are mind blowing.📷
Social media and cyber bullying have affected many people in our own community – even students walking our very own campus at Palmer Trinity School, our peers. A friend of mine, who would like to remain anonymous, is a victim herself of cyberbullying. She says, “I was harassed online by people that I have never met. It was scary and hurtful. I reached out to some other friends of mine, and they admitted to also being victims of cyberbullying. It’s crazy how widely spread cyberbullying is.” My dear friend, bullied by people she’s never even met? Isn't it wild? Social media enables bullies to act on people they’ve never even met in person. Wow.
With just the click of a button, your opinions, photos, and ideas can be posted on the internet for everyone to see. The reason that cyberbullying plays such an active role in our lives is because it is so much easier to express opinions on the internet, instead of in person, as the publisher does not get to witness the immediate negative – or positive – effects. A cyberbully does not have to see the look on his or her victim’s face upon being bullied, does not have to see how this affects their victim’s life at home. And once something is posted online, it cannot be taken back. The damage has been done. It’s easy and quick to post online.
While I have expressed how dangerous and terrible social media may be, it can also be a tool used to stop these cyberbullies. Most social media websites and apps have the option to report a user who has done something to potentially harm someone. Through awareness and strength, cyber-bullying can be stopped. Remember that the internet is permanent and never forget to be careful while surfing, and posting to, the web.