Overview of the case study:
Over the passage of time, bullying has taken different forms and destroyed the future of many young individuals (Brown & Edgar, 2017). In severe cases, people suffering from cyberbullying, physical bullying, and/or body shaming have considered suicide as their only way of ending the misery. Bullying has been observed as a common part of high school where teenagers can’t stand the idea of other teenagers being famous or popular in the school. 14-year-old Carney Bonner suffered from the same issue(Valley, 2020). He received endless hate messages from his classmates on his different social media accounts. In the account of these messages, Carney Bonner felt stuck in his life and tried hurting himself. He continued to live with this misery for almost two years(Valley, 2020).
Elements of cyber-bullying:
In the case of the 14-year-old Carney Bonner, one of the evident elements of cyberbullying was harassment. Harassment is defined as repeatedly sending offensive messages to a person with rude and insulting comments(Grigg, 2012). 14-year-old Carney Bonner was harassed on his social media accounts by insulting and discouraging messages. Some of the messages even mentioned that he should take his own life as he is of no use to the people out there. One of the messages he received mentioned, “You should go and kill yourself because you don’t mean anything to anyone.” Another element of cyberbullying involved in this case was the aspect of stalking. Some of the messages received by the victim highlighted his day-to-day activities and threatened him on the basis of his activities. In the element of stalking, repeated messages are sent that include threats, mean harm to the individual, or are highly intimating are involved. Eventually, the person gets concerned about his own safety (Grigg, 2012). Flaming was an evident element of cyberbullying in the case study. Flaming is described as the aspect of online fights with electronic messages using abusive language (Brown & Edgar, 2017). In this case, the young boy attempted suicide after the hateful messages he received on his different social media accounts.
The rationale to support if the defendant should be charged or not:
Cyber-bullying behavior can be easily reported to the authorities with the proper presentation of proof and relevant information(Primack& Johnson, 2017). In the case of 14-year-old Carney Bonner, the defendant should be charged guilty as used electronic communication to destroy the peace of an educational institute in which they were studying. State laws mention that bullying of a staff member or a student should be reported in documentation in schools. Cyberbullying is punishable in states like California and the defendant is usually fined for their act(Primack& Johnson, 2017). State laws in the United States define “bullying” in terms of the educational institute along with the involvement of communication by some means of the electronic act. Educational institutes should be a way of learning with safety and security for the peace of the mind of students. In case of use of the electronic device within educational institute premises to cause fear is punishable(Primack& Johnson, 2017).
Relationship between suicide and depression:
Clinical depression is a common yet undiagnosed mental health disease, especially among teenagers(Brown & Edgar, 2017). People directed towards attempting suicide are most likely to suffer from depression(Bronisch, 2013). For instance, in the case of Carney Bonner, he attempted suicide by cutting his wrists once he was deeply in depression after the hateful messages he received. Depression has an evident effect on the mindsets of the individuals as they no longer feel the urge to live their life to the fullest(Bronisch, 2013).
Suicide and Social Media:
Social media has played an evident role in teenage suicides. Researchers stated that social media is worth the mental health of children. In the United States, suicide rates increased among teens with an increased surge in social media(Lee, 2020). In the years 2010 to 2015, the rates were evidently high(Lee, 2020). Scrolling through Instagram feeds or watching how other people are enjoying their day out, teens feel suffered and left out. Constant comparison with the life of others affects their mental health and inclines most of teenagers to attempt suicide(Lee, 2020). With the increased rates of depression among teenagers, agencies should focus on keeping the rates of suicide low by helping people fight their depression. Keeping in view the increasing depression among teenagers, suicide will remain a focal point for the agencies to work on.
The difference between suicide rates:
Research suggests that the rate of suicide depends on the overall culture of the society(Brown & Edgar, 2017). A positive or mildly helpful culture of society helps individuals in learning and progress in their lives. However, the toxicity present in the cultures affects the overall mental health and development of the individuals. Some other factors which affect the suicide rate are gender and life course faced by an individual. Studies suggest that depression rates vary among people of different genders(Primack& Johnson, 2017).
Cyberbullying was evident in the case of 14-year-old Carney Bonner who suffered from the elements of stalking, harassment, and flaming. Suicide rates are increasing due to depression, however, but they depend on factors such as the age and gender of a person. However, with the prevalence of suicide organizations still need to focus on helping individuals in fighting depression.
Bronisch, T. (2013). The relationship between suicidality and depression. Archives Of Suicide Research, 2(4), 235-254. https://doi.org/10.1080/13811119608259005
Brown, C., & Edgar, T. (2017). Effects and Factors of Childhood Bullying: An Associational Study. International Journal Of Psychiatry, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.33140/ijp/02/01/00002
Grigg, D. (2012). Definitional constructs of cyber‐bullying and cyber‐aggression from a triangulatory overview: a preliminary study into elements of cyber‐bullying. Journal Of Aggression, Conflict And Peace Research, 4(4), 202-215. https://doi.org/10.1108/17596591211270699
Lee, S. (2020). Do effects of copycat suicides vary with the reasons for celebrity suicides reported by the media?. The Social Science Journal, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2019.03.003
Primack, A., & Johnson, K. (2017). Student cyberbullying inside the digital schoolhouse gate: Toward a standard for determining where a “School” is. First Amendment Studies, 51(1), 30-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/21689725.2016.1278177
Valley, T. (2020). ‘Cyber-bullying led to self-harm’. BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-berkshire-12619440.