The social 'benefits' of cyberbullying? | August 16, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - August 16, 2013

The social 'benefits' of cyberbullying?

Common reasons teens give for acting mean online

by Terri Lobdell

Recent studies, including one by University of California at Davis professor Robert Faris along with CNN, find that "social combat" among teens (including cyber-aggression) occurs in the school mainstream largely among friend groups as a means to achieve higher social status, feel better about themselves, and enforce norms of conformity.

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Posted by Pat Markevitch, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

Psychologist Carl Pickhardt wrote in "Why Good Kids Act Cruel": "As adolescents jockey for social position and ascendency, good kids are in danger of treating each other badly to feel better or keep from getting hurt. Unchecked, even good children can start believing that this mistreatment is okay."

While this behavior is mean, it's nothing new. It happened to me by one of my close friends when I was a teenager. Read the book Odd Girl Out for a better understanding. What is new is its method of delivery. Electronic mediums like texting and Facebook is fast and permanent and can have the capacity to create even more damage to a person than ever before.

Posted by If only, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

"If only" is probably the most useless phrase in the English language, but here goes:
If only Facebook would raise the age requirement for having an account to 16, or, better yet, 18 years of age.

But, as a very immature person himself, Zuck will probably never do such a responsible thing. Look how many hours that posting of the dead body picture was online after people started notifying FB of it; I believe it was five hours before they removed it.

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