|Image from Wikipedia|
Social media can cause a lot of trouble when teens are not paying attention to the things that they are posting online. The widespread nature of it has formed a new type of bullying, cyberbullying, which is the bullying that happens online. A lot of cyberbullyings start with sharing information online. Nowadays, if you post something on social media sites, it can be widely spread in a short period of time and bring a huge influence to the person in the picture or video that you shared. It provides a wide space for rumors to be spread and cause the damaging of lives. In the story of Megan Meier, she committed suicide after being bullied on MySpace. Gossip and rumors about her are posted online. What’s really important in this story is that her classmates or friends didn’t stand up for her to stop the spreading of these cruel messages and rumors. A lot of teens use the term “drama” rather than bullying when they see these kind of things happen, which allows them to “downplay its seriousness” (danah boyd). Lots of them also think that being bullied is a way of showing weakness, so they use "drama" to avoid being described as being bullied, which allows them to "save face" by doing this. However, the consequences that cyberbullying will cause is as serious as the traditional bullying. “Since there is no face-to-face contact (on these sites), students cannot see or feel the immediate harm they are inflicting”. According to the data from 2011, “95% of teen social media users who have witnessed cruel behavior on social media sites say they have seen others ignore the mean behavior” (Megan Meier Foundation). As a result, teens spread a lot of gossip and rumors on social media sites without recognizing the serious consequences that it might cause. We have to consider if the things that we are posting on social media sites will do harm to anyone related to that post before we do that.
Some of you might say that when people mention social media, they always link it to the negative influences that it brings to teens. However, a lot of teens actually think that social media affects them positively most of the time. It helps them build up their self-confidence when they see all the positive comments. It also makes their relationships with their friends better. Teens can get a lot of information and news online, and feel more involved in their friends' lives through social media. Even though there is a lot of news that talks about the negative influences of it, it has the potential to bring many positive influences to teens lives if used carefully and thoughtfully.
|Image from technology rocks. seriously|
Conclusion: Updated 29 May 2014
Writing this blog is quite challenging for me when I first started it because this is a completely new experience for me. This is the first blog I've ever written, so I want to thank you all who read through my blog and left a comment. When I was thinking about my topic for the blog with the concept of digital citizenship, the idea of pausing before you share it with everyone on the internet came into my mind almost immediately because a lot of teens are posting things about everything on social media sites constantly without considering the consequences that might be caused. As the internet gets more and more involved in our life, teens need to be more and more cautious about what we are sharing online. When I was reading all the comments I got from others, I found everyone agrees with me on the idea that teens don't really realize that the “jokes” they are saying and posting online can actually hurt someone, and everyone thinks that we should definitely think about if it is going to cause a bad influence to others before we publish it. I found it in the comment that the reason why it's hard for teens is that their brain is still developing, so they might end up posting something that they regret later. Also, to clarify the reason why kids tend to use the term “drama” instead of “bullying” when they are being cyber bullied, I reread the research from danah boyd. The using of “drama” allows them to feel like a normal person instead of a victim of bullying while communicating with others. They want to stay away from the word “victim” because they think it's a symbol of weakness.
I’ve learned a lot through the whole process of writing this blog started with doing research annotation on NoodleTools. This is a great experience for me, and once again, thank you everyone who has left a comment or read through my blog. These are great encouragements for my work!