Adolescent bullies are using social media as a newmeans to effectively impact on the lives of their victims. As of June 2017,there are over 7.5 billion facebook users worldwide, with a growth rate of justover 280% in the past 7 years. (Internet World Stats, 2017)This phenomenal rise, and social media’spopularity among adolescents, has caused a marked increase in the prevalenceand effectiveness of cyber bullying, and given bullies a whole new setof tools with which to target their victims.
These range from humiliatingphotographs, Insults and racism, to cyberstalking and threatening messages (Katz,2012). Traditional bullying can be defined by the criterion of “intent,repetition and power imbalance” (Hellstrom, Persson, & Hagquist, 2015).However, (Hellstrom, et al., 2015) found thatadolescents see physical or mental injury on the part of the victim as not aconsequential, but essential criterion to the definition of bullying. This isparticularly significant in the identification of cyberbullying, which, by the relativenature of its definition, makes applying the same yardstick to all situations nextto impossible. Cyberbullying by way of social media is a cruel and effectivenew form of peer victimisation affecting the lives of many modern-dayadolescents, this is a growing problem, with no end in sight. Recent studies have shown that social media platformslike facebook have a propensity toward addiction; foster emotional dependence,and have a negative impact on adolescents’ psychological well-being. Adolescentsare spending copious amounts of time on social platforms forming addictions that,according to (Hormes, Kearns, & Timko, 2014), compare closely to the effectsof substance abuse, both in there “symptoms, course and underlying mechanisms”(Hormes et al.
, 2014, p.1). This addiction leads to a complete emotionaldependence on social media, and a perception that all self-worth and happiness,depend on the success of their online social profiles. (Naeemi? & Temem,2017). Furthermore, social media is replacing real life social involvement andinteraction. Social involvement can be defined as “engagement in occupationsthat enable shared, meaningful social connection among family, friends orcommunities of people.
” (Kennedy, & Lynch, 2016, p.2). Therefore, insteadof interacting with the people around them, social networking encouragesadolescents to spend hours upon hours talking to people whom they have neveractually met, resulting in weak and superficial friendships. (Naeemi &Temem, 2017). Many social media users are struggling with social mediaaddiction, where the emotional dependence and reliance on platforms likefacebook are having a negative effect on their psychological wellbeing.