The cyber bullying effects victims of different ages differently, similar to bullying. For our project, we looked specifically at the effects of cyber bullying on college students (roughly 18-24 year olds). The most common places of cyber bullying for college students are on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and through texting.
There are a couple of sites that are specifically meant for “humor at one’s expense”, basically for cyber bullying. These sites include College Wall of Shame and College ACB. College Wall of Shame is a site in which allows people to take embarrassing pictures of drunk students/people and post them with a short story and what school the people are from. The pictures are of others, or sometimes of the person posting. College ACB is the largest anonymous college confession board. It allows students from any college or university to post anything to the site about their college campus and their fellow classmates. The site itself has been receiving scrutiny from students and universities for some of it’s posts. ABC News put out an article describing how some students have been cyber bullied on the site. One student felt the need to transfer schools. Whether the comments are completely made up or not, it still hurts the victims and follows them throughout school and life.
Side Effects May Include: Suicide
The side effects of cyber bullying are similar to those of bullying. They range from being minimal to extreme cases where victims commit suicide. Tyler Clementi, an 18 year old college student at Rutgers University. Clementi committed suicide after his college roommate witnessed him kissing another man via a remotely accessed web cam from a computer in the their dorm room. Clementi’s roommate then proceeded to tweet: “Roommate asked for room till (sic) midnight. Went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude, yay.” Only a few days later, Clementi jumped off the G-W bridge. Clementi was one of four teen suicides from September 2010 that dealt with victims being gay and cyber bullying. For more information about Clementi, please view this article.
Not all cyber bull victims take measures such as Clementi. One example is Cait Munro, who published her own personal testimony of her cyber bullying experiences from her college years online. The post is titled It Happened To Me: I was a Campus Celebrity and It Really Messed Me Up. She talks of how the bullying began, reached it’s climax, and eventually started to disappear. However, once the bullying stopped, Munro still struggles years later.
“Being under scrutiny by others sucks, but the worst part of it is that after it’s over, there’s no telling how long it will be until you finally stop scrutinizing yourself.”