Cyber bullying still occurs in college

Kristina Martinez
Kristina Martinez

People may think that cyberbullying comes to an end in high school, but that is not the case.

Bullying and cyberbullying is very much a part of the lives of college students. In a study conducted by professors at Indiana State University, professors Bridget Roberts-Pittman and Christine MacDonald found that 22 percent of college students reported being cyberbullied, and 15 percent reported being bullied. They also found that 38 percent of students knew someone who had been cyberbullied while almost 9 percent reported cyberbullying someone else. With social media taking such a huge portion of young college students’ day-to-day lives, it is no surprise that our generation is consumed by the media. We went from talking in person to talking on the phone. Then we went from talking on the phone to texting. Finally, we went from texting to communicating via social media. The world has become less about physical interaction and more dependent on technology.

Most people I’ve spoken to find it much easier to say how they feel online rather than by talking to them in person. Social media has begun to build up a wall for people by allowing them to mask themselves and still be able to reveal how they are really feeling in a tweet or Facebook post. Compare that with having to deal with the confrontation that comes with a real-life conversation. Many of us have become more comfortable with facing a computer or cellphone screen than to someone’s actual face. This might be because some people are too scared to say things they want to say to someone, because that means having to deal with and respond to the other person’s reaction.

Social networking sites do take up the majority of my day. I am constantly checking my Twitter and Instagram feed, along with other apps and sites on my phone. Posts on sites like these have become substitutes for diary entries when it comes to some users. Sometimes being on social networking sites, can cause people to look or feel vulnerable.

This vulnerability can make it easy for students to become targets of cyberbullying. Embarrassing and private pictures and secrets can be put on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and can be seen by many people. Actions like that can very much affect someone emotionally and socially. As easy as it may seem for some people to just rant on social networking sites, some people are forgetting that although the Internet may not be real life, there are real people behind the screen.

As mature as people would like to think college students are, it is hard to picture a huge difference in maturity between a high school senior and a college freshman. The truth of the matter is, the difference really can’t be that big. I know many people who are my age who still have a lot of maturing left to do. Words and poor actions do hurt others, and college is no exception to that.


Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @kristinacsuc on Twitter.