Does Social Media Cause Bullying?
Have you ever heard claims that Social Media is the cause of bullying and classroom fights? Social media is constantly being criticized by people who think it’s a bad thing and that hurts me. The success of this blog depends for the most part on Social Media. I have a decent Twitter following, and my Facebook page is growing every day. These are direct links to readers.
I read in the local news paper a couple of days ago that a school district near mine was considering charging students fines for continued cell phone use offenses. The article claimed that cell phone use during school is causing cell phone fights due to texting, but they also mentioned social media use. I’m not sure if they were associating this with cell phones in school or social media in general but either way they let light on something that is getting continued attention by the media.
I used to be friends on Facebook with everyone I knew at school. Now I’m not and I hate to say it this way, but I’m not because they have no clue how to use social media. These fellow students post the most vulgar things and quite often these things they post are about other people. Now, it’s not everyone that’s doing this but it’s a significant number. They don’t realize that what they are posting can be shared, screen captured, and indexed forever and have an effect on their future.
They also don’t realize that other people besides them have Facebook, they don’t realize that the things they do online can cause tension the next day at school which causes fights. Social Media doesn’t cause any of this though, the bullies cause it. You can say it enables it, but not really. An offending post can easily be flagged and removed thanks to Facebook’s highly staffed 24/7 moderation team.
You can also block people. I’ve seen that this doesn’t work that well at first, the bully may say some not so nice things but eventually they will get over it. Another thing we have to consider though is cyber bullying. That’s a big problem and it’s different from Social Media posts that cause bullying in person. Cyber Bullying happens right here on the computer and can be very threatening. People male and female get very tough when their weapon is a keyboard. It’s easier to post on someone’s wall that they’re a “Fat ugly *****” than to walk up to someone and call them that. Cyber bullying is a serious crime that needs to be addressed by the authorities and schools.
If you’re ever a victim of any bullying as a result of something on social media, take screen-shots of the offending material and report it. If you receive any sort of threats to your life contact the proper authorities. A threat to your life on Social Media should be taken just as seriously as any other threat to your life.
So in conclusion, I don’t think Social Media causes bullying, it’s just another medium at which some bullies choose to do what they please. People who have never touched Facebook still get bullied. We can’t allow people to give Social Media a bad name just because of some bullies. Otherwise we would have to say that all schools are terrible and should be shut down (including private Christian schools) but we know that would never happen. Some people are having great success thanks to Social Media.
These opinions come from someone who’s been bullied all his life, partly from Social Media. This may be a controversial topic for some, however you are free to leave your Feedback. Paul Shirey Tech® supports open commenting always.