Millennials are those born after the year 1980. The oldest of them are just in their mid-thirties, and the rest are born in the age of computers and the Internet. One cannot mention the word “millennials” without citing a social networking site immediately after. To the world, millennials are young people who spend too much time in social media.
What do they do there? They post their selfies and endless updates on their food, car, cat and boyfriends or girlfriends. If not, they look at others’ selfies and updates to admire, or maybe sneer at, them. The second is often heard of.
Online, everyone is a judge, because everyone can see everything. This gives way to harassment and bullying. Schools, therapy centers like Heritagertc.org, parents and victims report cases of cyber bullying. The effects are damaging. We often hear of millennial victims. But, online, are millennials more of the bullied, or the bully?
A recent study shows that 1 in 10 students in a U.S. high school has been a victim of cyber bullying in 2015. The age bracket of the sample group is 11-15 years old. Causes of bullying among teens and pre-teens include appearance, gender preference and disabilities. Offline, bullying involves name-calling, cursing, fist fighting and gossiping. Online, bullying comes in the form of posting hurtful comments and offensive photos.
There are many cases of cyber bullying in the U.S., and some of them ended in tragic deaths. One such case is Megan Meier, who died in 2006. The 14-year old, who struggled about her weight and self-esteem, committed suicide after a boy she was friends with on MySpace sent her hateful messages. Meier’s parents later found out that the boy was not real, and the account was made by their neighbor, Lori Drew, her daughter and another teenager.
Millennials make dangerous cyber bullies, too. While the faces of such bullies rarely make it to news reports, it is always certain that for every teenage death related to cyber bullying, there is an equally young perpetrator behind it. Cases of cyber bullying rise with smartphone usage, and who knows gadgets and social media better than millennials do? Most cases of cyber bullying are anonymous, so bullies feel that no one can catch them.
Psychologists say that teens who come from troubled homes are more likely to bully others. For them, bullying is a way to have control over their peers. Of course, it is a very destructive way.
Millennials are the most frequent users of the Internet. Anyone can use it however he pleases. The Internet is a venue for both bullies and victims. Regardless of who lurks in it, however, it’s up to the user to decide what he will make of himself. Millennial or not, on or offline, anyone can be bullied or be a bully himself.