THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF SOCIAL MEDIA: DOES IT PLAY A PART IN STUDENT BULLYING AND HOW CAN WE PREPARE TEACHERS?

M. Dono-Koulouris

St. John's University (UNITED STATES)
An instrument of communication where people are talking, sharing, networking, or participating online; a form of media that displays itself in the open public and encourages communication between the host and all observers; social media has come to be the Mecca for both young and old to stay abreast of what is taking place in the here and now.

Social media can have various meanings and tags. It could be electronically tagged as blogging, facebook, twitter, or LinkedIn or, as the old-fashioned way, a newspaper or radio. Social media is user-generated content that is shared over the Internet via technologies that promote engagement, sharing, and collaboration. But when is the use of social media enough? Should there be limits? Does anyone have the right to use this instrument to cause harm to another human being?

The instrument that was supposed to encourage sharing and participation is now being used as a deadly weapon. We hear stories about kids who have been bullied through the use of social media. This paper will offer insight into how social media has added to bullying and how can education programs and school administrators prepare their teachers.