What are good points for a compare/contrast thesis statement on cyberbullying and traditional bullying?
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I would begin with the fact that at the core they are both the same thing. One of the problems with cyber bullying is that it is especially pervaside. It is very hard for the victim to get away from it.
The cyber-universe has the effect of equalizing everybody. You don't have to be big and strong to be a bully anymore. The distaste that most people feel toward physically violent bullying doesn't necessarily apply to electronic bullying. It's easy to say something like "I was just kidding" when your bullying doesn't cause bruises or draw blood. The electronically socially connected groups make it easy to engage in "mob mentality." Those who find vindication in villifying others have never had such an easy time of it as they do now.
Back in the 80's, before cell phones and social networking, I was bullied with mean notes passed to me by anonymous people, or notes being taped on my locker from "friends" declaring to me that the friendship was over. This was followed by being ostracized from lunch tables, parties, and class groups. I heard about physical fights at school, but was never involved in any myself. If fights did break out, no one had a cell phone to record it or redistribute it. School officials promptly broke up the fights and that was the end of it except for a couple of days of gossiping. Prank phone calls were also used to hurt kids, but since phone lines were usually all one throughout the house, there was always the chance that a parent could get on the phone and bust the kids. Caller ID helped to identify prank call numbers, so parents could call back and talk to the other kids' parents. The same thing happens, now, but it happens more quickly and reaches more people. A fight among a group of girls could stay between themselves for the most part in the 80s, but now, everyone can be involved through all sorts of media.
Cyberbullying is become more and more common alongside traditional form of bullying. Cyberbullying ocurrs through texting, mass texts, facebook, email, instant messaging, and the posting of inappropriate pictures of the person they are bullying. Bullying used to only be seen in middle and high school, but there are now reports of bullying occurring in grades as young as 1st. Children are able to hide behind a computer or phone and bully another child without ever saying anything to them or coming face to face with them. Cyberbullying is becoming a big problem in schools, and children have attempted and successfully committed suicide as a result.
Traditional bullying requires face to face contact. There is often physical violence such as hitting, kicking, punching, shoving into lockers, slapping, pulling hair, etc. Name calling is common as well as threats.
The difference between these two types of bullying is that it is witnessed by other people and cyberbullying is only witnessed by the victim, but a big part of cyberbullying is that it is shared virally through electronic media to spread the humiliation of the victim through a whole school or community or even further afield through media like YouTube. Teachers and administrators can see bullying occurring in their schools and address it, whereas cyberbullying is done through the use of technology and adults will most likely not see it.
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