It is known that technological advances not only provide benefit, but also create serious problems for our society. Cyber-bullying is a relatively new method of bullying made possible because of the invention of cell phones and the Internet. Both the Internet and cell phones have changed the lives of children, adolescents and their parents. Today these technological advances create the gap between children and adults. Many children and adolescents perceive cell phones, the Internet and other technologies as the major tools for their social development (Kowalski et al., 2012).
Cyber-bullying, also known as online social violence can be defined as the act of bullying through e-mail, messaging in chat rooms and on websites, on gaming sites, or through digital messages and images which are sent to a cell phone, according to Kowalski et al. (2012). Today cyber-bullying is widely discussed in the mass media and in academic circles. Cyber-bullying is different from traditional bullying because of its specific features which are concluded in representation of certain challenges, especially for parents and teachers who actively interact with children and adolescents, according to Robin M. Kowalski et al. (2012). Today the researchers pay special attention to this issue, and in their studies, they discuss the frequency of cyber-bullying, the major causes of this phenomenon, and the effects of cyber-bullying on the victim and the perpetrator.
Today cyber-bulling is really a serious problem in our society which requires prompt solutions. Cyber-bullying represents the expansion of traditional form of bullying into the so-called electronic realm. The problem of cyber-bullying typically occurs via the Internet and cell phones. The statistics show that “among the victims of cyber-bulling, 56% had been victims of school yard bulling and 17% had perpetrated bullying at school” (Kowalski et al., 2012, p. 109). In addition, it has been found that the prevalence of cyber-bullying ranges from 9% to 42% (Mieczynski, 2009, p. 22). These facts mean that cyber-bullying is a growing, world-wide problem, which requires the appropriate psychological investigation and development of the effective strategies to stop the spread of cyber-bulling.
The major goal of this paper is to determine general characteristics of cyber-bullying, its causes, effects and prevention strategies.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â According to Rebecca Ahlfors (2010), one of the major unfortunate developments from the spread of new communications technologies is cyber-bullying. It has been found that today cyber-bullying can occurs through the use different forms of “real-time” communication, such as instant messaging, chat-room communications, and cell phone communication, including text messaging and electronic images. In addition, it can also occur in different forms of delayed messaging such as e-mail and website postings (Welker, 2010).
It is known that the lack of understanding by parents and educators the logistics of cyber-bullying and the impact caused by cyber-bullying remains a serious problem in our society (Pilkey, 2011). Today the use of technology by children and adolescents within schools is on the rise, and so is the ability to become a cyber-bully. Cyber-bullying can occur around the clock and anywhere on the Internet and other technology. The results of the recent research point to the fact that traditional bullying and cyber-bullying have very much in common, but at the same time there are certain differences between these phenomena. Cyber-bullying can be viewed as a very dangerous phenomenon for our society, according to Jacqueline K. Pilkey (2011).