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Social Media Essay

1790 words - 8 pages

Social Media: Freedom of Expression or Freedom to Bully?
Social media has come a long way during the last few decade, and the improvement of technology has made everything online easier to manage. Social media is meant as a valuable outlet for freedom of expression, but is widely abused in order to bully and threaten others without any fear. The purpose of this research paper is to show how online bullying goes a long way, and hurts others in the long run. Bullies get online and let out their hatred/frustration on victims, without the confrontation, and without the immediate consequences. There are many ways that social media is more widely used as a weapon and some of the ...view middle of the document...

There’s a fine line between calling someone a name once and to the point where they feel they can’t be themselves and look for other means of escape. In an article called “Bullying Suicide Statistics,” bullied youths are more susceptible to contemplate suicide and “suicides among 15-24 year olds is the third leading cause of death for youth.” This is escalating year by year and it goes to show how much social media is a weapon for bullies. Everyday kids feel that they don’t belong, all because one person started out with a rumor, and others went along with it. Cyberbullies can even go out of their way and make fake profiles via Facebook to continue to use social media as a weapon, and freely express their hate towards one person-also known as “catfishing.” The case of Megan Meier started out when 16 year old Megan started an online romance with someone she never met. A month later, her Myspace account was flooded with hateful messages about her, and all coming from this mysterious stranger, but then later is found out to be a mother who was a neighbor to Megan. She created the fake account to see if Megan was being rude toward her daughter-but then Megan later turned to suicide and died. This goes to show how even a neighbor would rather stick behind a keyboard and use their computer as a weapon to destroy someone.
Statistics about online bullying are a real eye opener, and people really need to realize that social media is abused all around them. Bullies are able to create a whole new world to hurt someone with social media, and push them to a breaking point. According to Dosomething.org, teens who have been or are being bullied are “2 to 9 more times likely to consider committing suicide,” and that “70% of students” see others being bullied via Facebook. Kids do not know how to properly interfere between a bully and a victim, which can leave the victim to feel helpless, and ever more depressed. Kids feel that going online is a scapegoat when it comes to bullying others and Dosomething.org also states that “81% of teens admit that bullying is easier to get away with online,” rather than in person. This percentage of teens admitting to that shows a lot on how widely they use social media as a weapon, and avoid telling someone in person how they feel. Yet a lot of bullying does take place in person as well, but it can spread like wildfire online. It is so easy to go online, send someone you don’t like a message, and just continuously start drama without all the confrontation. According to the AAS (American Association of Suicidology) the rates of suicide of youths have grown “over 50% in the last three decades.” A lot of suicides start with bullying, and the use of social media as an outlet to do so, is not helping the escalating percent of suicides.
Due to all the bullying that takes place online, experts all see a drastic increase of a weaponized social media outlet. Cyberbullying is becoming more common, and more vicious,...

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