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Daniel Rodriguez
Composition II
Essay 4
Nov. 10, 2015

The Virtual and Silent Killer

Its amazing to believe how far we have come with technology. Just twenty years
ago, we had landlines, cassette tapes, and televisions with huge backs on them. Now we
have iPhones that can basically can all that in the palm of your hand. With technology
growing at an astounding rate, kids today dont have to deal with that kind of hassle. Kids
today didnt have to deal with calling your friends from a landline or having to fix a TV
by just slapping it on the side just so you can see the picture. Although technology can be
great and fun, it can be dangerous if you dont know how to use correctly. Specifically,
social media is one in particular that so many people have had problems with. One of the
main problems that have come up with social media is cyber bullying.
Cyber bullying is when someone is being emotionally abused through social
media. Most cyber bullies will use about anything to hurt the victim. They can use
photos, statuses about the victim, and can start rumors and spread quickly like wildfire.
For the most part social media is usually not what its all about. There can be positive
things about just getting on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. According to an article by
Dave Parrack, social media can let you keep in touch with your long distance friends with
just a click of a mouse. It can give you more of a quicker way to communicate with not

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just your friends but with the world as well. Also lets you know how to get common
ground with groups that have the same interests as you do. (Parrack) Not only is social
media good to keep up with old friends. It can also be good as in a business standpoint.
For college students, like myself, getting a job after graduation is getting harder and
harder every year. The rate of employment for out of college kids is slowly decreasing
due to our economy. So more and more companies have to look at other ways to hire
college graduates in order to get exactly what they want.
Another positive thing about social media is great marketing for anybody that
wants to start your own business. With the help of Facebook and Twitter, small
businesses have been able to advertise their business in order to get more customers
attention. According to a study from Hootsuite, businesses big or small are able to
communicate with their customers in a more closer and have more of a meaningful
relationship. They are able to get feedback at a faster rate and youll be able to be ahead
of the game from your marketing standpoint. With that being said, social media has
changed rapidly throughout the years and will keep changing down the road. A lot of
businesses would not exist if werent for the boom of social media. Take YouTube for
instance. When it became live online a lot of businesses would use that to promote
whatever product they are trying to sell. The Internet has made the world more business
savvy and continues to modernize countries all over the world.
I can sit here and tell you all the good things about social media or how you can
see all the cat videos or all the weird vine compilation you can see on YouTube but there
can also be a lot of negative things on the Internet. Its not just what you see about
politics bloggers talking about whose worse Clinton or Trump. Though you hear a lot of

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things about that, there is a bigger problem we have that seems to be growing more and
more as technology grows and gets better. Cyber bullying has become what some people
call the The Virtual Killer. Its one of the causes of teenage depression and teenage
suicide according by a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics, cyber bullying or
online harassment as some may call it is: Deliberately using digital media to
communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person.
(OKeeffe) It shows no physical abuse but more into the emotional or mental abuse. With
some teenagers, its one of the most easiest weapons to use in order to hurt someone just
typing a couple sentences on Facebook about the victim. How does it start? Well, to begin
with, you can say that a girl gets on his phone and checks his Facebook and she sees a
terrible picture of her and the caption say Slut. When this photo is posted on the
Internet, it can spread like wildfire. People would be able to see it and comment on it
saying all kinds of mean and vulgar things about the boy. So, she sees all the negative
comments about her and instantly she becomes worried and she begins to go make her
believe all the comments about her are true. Now for the most part cyber bullying on
social media doesnt just last one day. It can last for week, months, or maybe years.
Depending on how far people are willing to go to hurt the victim. Another form of cyber
bullying is sexting. Sexting is when a person of either sex sends naked photos to there
significant others. (OKeeffe) Its technically not a cyber bullying until a certain extent to
where the receiver decides to use for black mailing purposes. Like sending it to other
people that werent suppose to see it.
With this worldwide phenomenon happening in almost every home, it can also
cause health problems with not just the victim but also relationships with the family. In

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my opinion, cyber bullying is probably one of the most dangerous and deadly things a
teenager has to deal with nowadays. It has caused early depression in children as young
as preteens and teens. Studies show between 89 percent and 97.5 percent of teenagers
who have a Facebook profile could be in close ties with cyber bullying; recently said by
Scientific American. (Pappas) With kids leading into depression at such a young age can
also lead to suicide. Although my research showed that cyber bullying wasnt a leading
cause of suicide, it is more likely to make the victim more vulnerable to depression
therefore leading into suicide. With all this in mind, teenager in 2015 has to go through
more than what a teenager back in 2000 would have to deal with. Not only does the
teenager have to deal with just physical abuse if hes bullied at school, but also the mental
abuse outside of school and even in his or her home. The social life of a victim begins
whither away when an online bully threatens him or her. Your relationship with your
family begins to change. As Stephanie Pappas talks about in her article, Alarmingly,
teens typically suffered cyber bullying in silence. Kids really are hesitant to tell anyone
when cyber bullying occurs. There seems to be a common fear that if they tell their
parents, for example, theyll lose their Internet access (Pappas) Not only are kids afraid
of losing their internet access, they are also afraid of showing their humility. They dont
want them to know that he or she sent a naked picture to someone. Which the teenager
doesnt want to have the parents disappointed in them.
Within the research I found out a couple-interesting thing about cyber bullying
and social media. Most of which I have explained earlier but I want to explain more age
group of teenagers. Though it may be more popular with preteens and teenagers it can
also go through co-workers at the company you work for. The same concept can go for a

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co-worker that had rumor started on them and can spread like a wildfire. In some
companies have cracked down on how to control social media and keeping it out of the
professional world. One of the many benefits a company can have is looking for the right
people to work for them. Say, you are graduate from college get an interview with a law
firm; and the only thing standing in your way of getting this job is all the background
checks they do to you. Some not only do background checks but they will also go
through your Facebook to see the kind you post. Sometimes companies will not hire you
if they have anything is against company policy. They can find out a wide variety of
things about your without even asking you. Its almost as if the NSA is looking through
all of your stuff. Bottom line is that social media like Facebook or Twitter can cause a
negative impact towards the career you are pursuing.
With that being said, what can most people do to stop this silent killer? Should
parents be more aggressive about the situation at hand when it comes to their kid being a
victim of cyber bullying? Research shows that more and more people every year are
becoming interactive but the kind of communication is more along the lines of not
meeting face to face as we used to. (Keller) To prevent kids from being hurt by cyber
bullying can be solve efficiently which is some way can easier said than done. In order to
fix the problem, we should take the necessary steps so that teenagers are able to handle
social media safely without getting hurt. One way of doing that would be to know the
proper age for a teenager to have any kind of social media account. Parents have to set a
limit to where and what kind of website they are allowed to go into. There it can be more
safer and can cause no serious harm to their loved ones. Besides the parents helping at
home, schools can also make a difference to prevent cyber bullying. One way of doing

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that would be how journalist Jan Hoffman discovered through a story she wrote about a
school cracking down on cyber bullying. As one Benjamin Franklin Middle School
decided to teach their students the responsibility of being on the Internet. Guidance
counselors at the middle schools have become more involved into students who are
bullied on the Internet. (Hoffman) The last way to prevent cyber bullying would be just
taking a stand for you or for the victim. To me, cyber bullying can be stopped in one or
two ways. One way of doing that would be just saying something. If you feel like
somebody is abusing you through social media then go to guidance counselor and lets
them know what is going on. If you see someone who is being bullied dont join the
bully. Be the better person and stop it. Sometimes teenager or preteens may not know if
they are cyber bullying or not. Sometime they many not even know if they are or not. As
Nick Bilton found out, you may find something on Facebook about someone that may be
funny to you but it can be harmful to the other person. (Bilton) So know your limit and be
responsible when you are typing on that keyboard.
In conclusion, social media can be fun as long as you know how to handle it
properly. Having a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account is not bad, in fact, I highly
recommend for every one to get one. Just know that the people that are one there are just
regular people who have feelings and they can get hurt. Just think twice of what you are
typing on your computer or phone. Cyber bullying can be 100 percent preventable by just
being the bigger person and stopping it when its happening and commenting responsibly.
It is known as the virtual and silent killer but we can kill cyber bullying one keyboard at a
time.

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Works Cited
Bilton, Nick. "When the Cyberbully Is You." The New York Times. 29 Apr. 2015. Web.
23 Oct. 2015.
Cisnero, Kristina. "10 Benefits of Social Media for Business Every Skeptic Should
Know." Hoot Suite, 25 July 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Hoffman, Jan. "Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray." The New York Times, 27 June
2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Keller, Maura. "Social Media and Interpersonal Communication." Social Work Today, 1
May 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
O'Keefe, Gwennn, and Kathleen Pearson. "The Impact of Social Media on Children
Adolescents, and Families." American Academy of Pediatrics, 28 Mar. 2011.
Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Parrack, Dave. "The Postive Impact of Social Networking Sites On Society."
MakeUseOf. 19 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Pappas, Stephanie. "Social Media Cyber Bullying Linked to Teen Depression." Scientific
American. Scientific America, 23 June 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Whittaker, Elizabeth, and Robin Kowalski. "Cyberbullying Via Social Media." Taylor
Francis Online, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.