Cyberbullying is getting worse


Photo Credit: CNN

On January 23rd, former Australian tennis star, Jelena Dokic replied to sickening comments about her body left on an Instagram post. This is only one example out of the thousands of daily occurrences of cyberbullying from pathetic and cowardly people who find themselves behind their screens. 

An anonymous person wrote “Just saw #JelenaDokic doing an interview on the #australianopen2023. Omg! What the hell happened to you? You need to cut back on the snacks imho!”  Dokic responds and calls these comments “disgusting” and says that “people should be ashamed.”  

Over the past years, as social media becomes more popular and accessible, cyberbullying has become a disgusting problem, especially when children are involved. According to the Pew Research Center’s survey on cyberbullying statistics, 46% of U.S. teens, ages 13-17, have experienced some form of online bullying. 

Generally, children are more prone to being bullied than adults. Many children are perceived as weak, have low self-esteem, and are unable to defend themselves properly. 

“I have seen cyberbullying on various social media sites, and I have also been a victim. Depending on the person, it can make people feel down on themselves and cause people to lose a lot of confidence,” said Jason Costa, an NHS sophomore when asked about experiencing hateful words online.

Not only can it cause people to lose confidence, but it can also affect the way students work in the classroom.

 “Cyberbullying transfers into the classroom. If something goes on during school or the night before, it interferes with what they’re supposed to be doing in the classroom for sure. Cyberbullying is very serious and it can definitely mess with somebody’s mental health. It keeps your mind on that instead of the actual classwork,” says Mr. Alex Barton a business teacher at Naugatuck High School. 

It doesn’t just stop in the classroom. There are many long-term effects of cyberbullying on the mental health of people of all ages. Victims of cyberbullying are at an increased risk of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more. These mental health illnesses can affect victims of cyberbullying at college courses, future jobs, job interviews, and relationships with loved ones. 

Mrs. Carolyne Dymond shares another example. After calling out a man on his ignorant comment, he replied with “make me a sandwich.” This offensive phrase is often used to stereotype women but few men would have the audacity to say this to a woman’s face, but instead hide behind a vague user name and a computer screen.

Online bullying occurs for a variety of different reasons; from gender stereotypes to disagreeing with a user’s opinions.  

How insecure must you be to make hurtful comments to someone over the internet? Do you not feel embarrassed?