The Rise of Social Media Converges with Cyber Bullying

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David Giles and Ben Stephens often use their electronics to access many different forms of social media. Photo by Crystal Snow

David Giles and Ben Stephens often use their electronics to access many different forms of social media. Photo by Crystal Snow

The 21st century social media includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Email, Instant Messaging, You Tube, gaming sites with personal profiles, Pinterest, Instagram, dating websites, and Google +. The online social media world is quickly escalating to become one of the most popular sources of communication.

With the steady rise in technology, social media users can access go-to sites with a swipe of a finger on an iPod, iPad, Kindle, Nook, laptop, cell phone, and any other technology gadget with internet access.

Statistics taken about the rise in social media give a good idea about just how quickly technology is becoming part of daily life in both business and the home.

According to the number of online U.S. adults using social media increased from 8% in 2005 to 72% in 2013. The number of Twitter users has gone up 125% in three years. Facebook rose from 1 million users in the year 2004 to 1.1 billion by March 2013.

Sean Parker, former president of Facebook said, “Facebook isn’t helping you make new connections, Facebook doesn’t develop new relationships, Facebook is just trying to be the most accurate model of your social graph. There’s a part of me that feels somewhat bored by all of this. There’s no room for serendipity.”

The usage of online communication means that less and less time is spent conversing face to face. Social media sites make it easier to disclose personal information to hundreds of people in a minimal amount of time. The use of social media has proven to be used in both positive and negative ways.

Negative effects of social media use are seen in many ways, such as a false sense of connection, decreased productivity, lack of personal privacy, and in cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying especially is becoming more and more common. The intimacy social sites provide for friends is just as prevalent and available to predators. Cyber bullying comes anonymously, or publically, terrorizing individuals in front of their social peers.

Professional writer and software developer Brian Jung says, “The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars. In several well-publicized cases, victims have even been driven to suicide. The anonymity afforded online can bring out dark impulses that might otherwise be suppressed.”

Adults, students, and youth all over the globe are affected daily by cyber bullying. According to author Marylyn A. Campbell, whether on the bullying or the victim side of the spectrum, cyber bullying has intensified and has not had the attention it deserves.

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