Almost anyone who has ever attended public school will agree that children can be incredibly cruel. Children can pay a high price for being different. A child that doesn’t fit in can easily become a victim of bullying. Technology has taken bullying to a whole new level.
In the past, kids only had to deal with bullying from their classmates. Today social media has created a situation where children can easily be bullied by the entire world. There have been many cases where children were so embarrassed by the bullying that they were driven to commit suicide.
Child number 1 can use a cellphone to record a video of child number 2 getting beat up. Child number 1 can then upload this humiliating video to popular video sharing sites such as YouTube or vimeo. If the video goes viral, then millions of people will witness this embarrassing video. This moment could potentially cause child number 2 additional traumas for years to come. The stigma of the video could follow child number 2 around like a reputation. Even transferring to a new school can sometimes only cause a new cycle of bullying. Especially if child number two is recognizable and identifiable in the video.
The sexting phenomenon has also caused a lot of bullying. Sexting is the act of texting nude or sexually provocative pictures. Many students send these pictures to each other without thinking about the possible long term consequences of such actions. Once something is in cyberspace, it is there forever. A girl may send her boyfriend a picture under the condition that it is for his eyes only. Then, the boyfriend texts the picture to some of his friends. Next, the boyfriend’s friends text the picture to more people. Before long, the picture has gone viral. At that point, the picture can possibly be viewed by anyone, even her parents. An incident like this can negatively affect the girl for the rest of her life. If she ever tries to run for public office or get a job requiring high level security clearance, a picture like this would become a serious problem.
Children also bully each other on popular social media web sites like twitter and Facebook. The anonymity of the World Wide Web sometimes gives students the confidence to post things that they would be afraid to say in public. Children will post unflattering pictures of the children that they don’t like, or they may start rumors and spread lies about them.