How Smartphones Have Fueled Rampant Cyberbullying

February 4, 2018
Posted on: February 4, 2018
Author: Ramey Law P.C.

Since the introduction of the first iPhone 10 years ago, smartphones have exploded into society. Today, 92 percent of teenagers have a cellphone. With any huge technological change comes a variety of pros and cons; with more forms of communication (including social media) comes more risk of social isolation. Cyberbullying has only become a large issue in the past few years, and most people are still unaware of how dangerous it is.

What Are the Facts?

From 2010 to 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of suicide and severe depression increased by over 30 percent in teens 13-18. A study recently released by Florida State University proved a strong correlation between cellphone use and suicidal thoughts; with subjects in the case that used their phone more than five hours per day, there was a 50 percent occurrence of at least one suicidal thought or behavior. The study concluded that teenagers who spend more time on social media are at a much higher risk of being bullied online by their peers, and hence are more likely to report mental health issues.

What Does This Mean?

The truth is, bullying is not a new phenomenon, and cyberbullying just provides an alternate route for bullies to hurt others through a more accessible format. The real issue is the initial cause of the cyberbullying (social isolation) and the result of that cyberbullying (rising depression and suicide rates). Families (and schoolteachers) should still be teaching basic face-to-face communication skills to elementary and middle schoolers, and they should also monitor the social behavior of teenagers online in order to better predict cyberbullying.

The attorneys at Ramey Law P.C. are experienced in school bullying and abuse. We can help you and your child pursue legal claims against other parties that have exacerbated the cyberbullying issue, or have neglected to take proper action against it.