Jacob Hutchinson 15/12/17 Social Media SociologySocial Media was initially created to offer a place for communication to occur over the internet. Instead, it has become a sea of cyberbullying, catfishing, and issues with body image. Over time, it has become more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes. (Fox) I chose this topic mainly because of the control it has on our society. We constantly witness young adults posting their food on Instagram. People can roam throughout a store looking down at their phone and bump into people. However, they will never say “excuse me” or any other saying.
Social Media can negatively affect our society by allowing us to compare ourselves to other people on the internet. It is supposed to help each other connect but instead, it is influencing poor mental health on teenagers.When I was gathering my research, I was expecting to find different results based off of specific experiences that other people have gone through.
I researched topics on cyberbullying, catfishing, body image, indirect communication, stalking, and more. Cyberbullying is the process of using the internet to send text and/or images intended to hurt or embarrass someone. (U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services) Cyber Harassment is the same as Cyberbullying. However, the only difference is the age of the victim and perpetrator. As long as a minor, under 18 years of age, is involved, the legal definition states that it is Cyberbullying. Pew research has found that 39% of teenagers have experienced cyberbullying, while 15% were disturbed by having private messages posted online. (Ramasubbu) The National Council on Crime Prevention found that three out of four victims of cyberbullying have traced the identities of the perpetrators. Only 23% of victims have reported that they have been bullied by someone they do not know. (Ramasubbu) I sent a survey to a sample of 58 people and I found that 36% reported that they have been a victim of cyberbullying.
A famous cyberbullying case that I researched was Amanda Todd’s story. She was only in 7th grade when she was asked to flash her breasts to an unknown stranger on a chat room. A year later, the same man contacted her on Facebook and asked her to “put on a show” for him. He threatened to release the picture to all of her family and friends if she did not comply. Her peers started to bully and tease her for what she did. She became severely depressed, she developed anxiety, and she began to use drugs and alcohol. She kept changing schools. However, the bullying kept following her and therapy did not seem to help her situation.
In September 2012, she released her story onto YouTube before committing suicide a month later. An example of a cyberbullying case that I have personally witnessed ended up happening on Twitter. Laurat Krasniqi, or Lati, is a Swedish-Albanian transgender girl, who only wants to produce covers of popular songs on her account. Her peers found her covers and began to bully her severely. She was sent to foster care, where she was physically, mentally, and sexually abused. She eventually had to quit school because of the severe bullying.
She constantly gets bullied by people she doesn’t even know on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat. She gets told that she can’t sing and that she deserves to die on a daily basis.