An increase in the number of smartphones and constant access to mobile data has led to a dramatic increase in cyberbullying worldwide, including Turkey.
Young Life Foundation in Istanbul recently conducted a study with 1,714 students from 50 high schools across the city. After the study, titled “High School Youths and Perception of Violence Research,” was conducted and analyzed, the data concluded that nearly 30 percent of young-adults are exposed to cyberbullying, and that males are exposed to cyberbullying two times more than their female counterparts in Turkey.
The study also published the most common types of cyberbullying encountered by Turkish youths, which included threats, gossips, insults, offensive photo-alterations, and sharing pictures and videos without the person’s consent through the Internet and mobile devices.
The Young Life Foundation’s General Manager Uğur Gülderer spoke with Sunday’s Zaman, a Turkish Newspaper, warning of the lasting nature of information posted online, and of the possible situations where cyberbullying may escape the cyber realm and evolve into physical violence.
“Cyber bullying is the least-known type of harassment. For example, as it is important to establish friendships on various social media networks, being isolated from certain groups or having a low number of friends on those networks is also very important. When you are being isolated, your brain gives the same reaction as the brain of someone who is exposed to physical violence. In other words, your brain perceives relations or friendships on the Internet as though they are real,” Gülderer told the reporter. Gülderer also commented that the anonymity of the cyberbullies also poses additional risks.