Cyberbullying; A New Way To Bully
In his essay, “You Wanna Take This Online?”, Jeff Chu gives us an insight on the new online trend called “Cyberbullying” and how it is affecting the lives of many young teenagers today. He explains how even a young teenager who loves My Chemical Romance, and the color pink can also a victim of hatred, taunting and harassment by her peers at school, or in this case, online. Chu says” 21% of eighth graders reported being cyber-bullied recently” (727), but still it seems that most parents are unaware and oblivious to what goes on in their children’s lives. By ignoring the fact that their sons and daughters could be facing trouble online, these parents let what could be a one-time thing turn into an everyday occurrence. There is still a lot we don’t know about cyber-bullying but Jeff Chu gives us a small feel of what it is like. What we do know is that cyberbullying has changed the way the kids of our generation get taunted, bullied, and harassed.
Chu’s use of illustration to describe Taylor Hern shows us that even the average 13-year old girl can be a victim of cyberbullying. He states that Taylor logged on to her Xanga account to fin a comment leading her to a list of “Ho’s” and Taylor happened to be on the list. She said the list didn’t affect her, that it was a little hurtful but it didn’t bother her as much as it did the other girls. But still she was puzzled at the idea that anyone would take time out of their schedule to come up with such nonsense. Only, how long will it take for it to affect Taylor? How long will it take for these little taunts to turn into threats?
THE BIRTH OF A NEW SOCIETY It is not often that one gets to witness the birth of a new society. Yet, the birth of a new society is exactly what is happening on the Internet today. The society is growing quickly. Numbering 40 million people in 1996, it reached 375 million in 2000. It grew to more than 700 million in 2005. In 2005, only China and India were bigger than the society of the Internet. ...
Chu also tells us that most cyberbullies were actually victims of physical bullying themselves, in school. He draws a connection and says,” When a cyber bully lashes out it can be a sign of emotional and psychological problems.” (728) Chu shows us that most cyberbullies are actually anonymous, because in the real world the victims will retaliate but there is no problem of that online, especially with being anonymous. Victims can say whatever they want without fear of there being any sort of physical consequence or retaliation; it’s almost their way of pay back. Although he states that the bullies were usually victims at one point, that’s not always the case. Not all victims of cyberbullying are guilty of bullying themselves; some really are just innocent and are easy targets.
Chu uses the comparison of the average school bully, and the online bullies to show how technology has changed the way kids bully each other. He says,” If parents and teachers think its hard to control mean girls and boys in school then they haven’t reckoned with cyberspace.” (724) Simply because he says parents don’t even know how to adequately deal with the problem at hand. Their instinctive response it to “…apply an electronic tourniquet.” (725) or in other words, cut off all internet usage, but he sees that only ends up making things worse. Chu indirectly wants to blame the parents for this pandemic, and not stopping it before it even starting by knowing where their children were at all times including when on the internet. But apart of Chu knows that the parents of these children are just oblivious to the cyber-world. Only when they see it first-hand can they really start to think, “You read about what kids do to other kids, but you never think it is going to happen to yours.” (728)
Chu has a very good point when it comes to this new issue called cyberbullying and the parents being at fault, because it is, indeed, their responsibility to know where their child is at all times of the day and night. It is their responsibility to know where there children are outside of the house but now it’s time for a new challenge: to know where their kids are in the house too, while on the internet. However, a couple parents here and there monitoring their children isn’t going to change anything just yet so the big issue still remains for now. But where is the solution? Again, there is still a lot we all don’t know about cyberbullying or about what these kids are thinking when they get home from school, run upstairs, log on to their Xanga accounts and start typing.
Today’s children face more diversity than their parents were when they were at the same age. The cultural differences in how the parents deal and communicate with their children around the world are a great challenge. Parent’s involvement in their children’s literacy and communication either in school, home or community will be effective through communication strategies and awareness about ...
Chu, Jeff. “You Wanna Take This Online?”. Time Magazine. 8 August 2005. N.P. Print. In Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric in Readings. John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 7th Edition. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2007. 727-29. Print.