مزاحمت سایبری مربوط به شکل ظاهری: مطالعه کیفی ویژگی ها، محتوا، دلایل و اثرات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|30401||2014||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6644 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Body Image, Volume 11, Issue 4, September 2014, Pages 527–533
The aim of this study was to explore 15-year-old adolescents’ experiences of appearance-related cyberbullying. Twenty-seven adolescents participated in four focus groups. The adolescents in this study perceived that it is common to be targeted in appearance-related cyberbullying, especially for girls, and that appearance-related cyberbullying is considered to be a potent strategy when attempting to hurt girls. Girls often received comments about being fat, while among boys, it was common to receive comments about looking or seeming “gay.” According to the adolescents, an important reason for engaging in appearance-related cyberbullying was to attain higher social status in the peer group. The girls and boys reacted differently to appearance-related cyberbullying. Boys tended to act out or take no offence, while girls experienced lower self-esteem and feelings of depression. Findings in this study contribute to research on cyberbullying as well as to research on girls’ body esteem development.
Adolescence is a period when individuals spend an increasing amount of time with peers, and it is therefore characterized by an increased striving for acceptance by, and popularity with, the peer group (Steinberg, 2011). Moreover, concerns over how one's body is perceived by peers preoccupy the minds of a majority of adolescents (Jones, 2012). Peers thus have a major impact in shaping adolescents’ thoughts about their bodies (Webb & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2013). Social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace) are examples of new contexts in which adolescents can present themselves, and also compare their appearance with others (Manago et al., 2008 and Tiggemann and Miller, 2010). Social networking sites are also commonly used forums for cyberbullying behaviour ( Mishna, Cook, Gadalla, Daciuk, & Solomon, 2010). Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that is conducted through modern information and communication technology ( Smith, 2009). Two studies of cyberbullying among adolescents have found that appearance is the most commonly reported reason for being cyberbullied ( Cassidy et al., 2009 and Mishna et al., 2010). It should be noted that these studies included appearance as one variable among many others (e.g., sexuality, ethnicity), but that neither of them focused solely on appearance-related cyberbullying. No other studies have to our knowledge studied adolescents’ experiences of appearance-related cyberbullying. The aim of the current study was, therefore, a qualitative investigation of appearance-related cyberbullying among adolescents, with a focus on characteristics of the cybervictims and cyberbullies, and the content, reasons, and effects of the cyberbullying. However, there have been some studies in related areas; these are presented in the next section. Although the studies by Cassidy et al. (2009) and Mishna et al. (2010) did not focus solely on appearance-related cyberbullying, they have reported some results about appearance-related cyberbullying. More specifically, one of those studies (Cassidy et al., 2009) found that over one third of the adolescents reported being cyberbullied because of their size or weight. The other study (Mishna et al., 2010) found that one in ten of the adolescents reported that they were bullied online because of their appearance. It is important to gain a more thorough understanding about what appearance-related cyberbullying revolves around. Moreover, Frisén, Berne, and Lunde (2014) also investigated whether adolescents’ views on who is the victim of appearance-related cyberbullying differ according to gender. They found that a majority of the adolescents thought that cyberbullying more often revolves around the victims’ appearance when girls are cyberbullied compared to when boys are cyberbullied. This finding indicates that girls to a greater extent than boys might be targeted for cyberbullying that puts the victim's appearance in focus. Therefore, there is a need to find out more about what characterizes adolescents who are involved as victims or bullies in appearance-related cyberbullying. It should be noted that in an offline context, a common reason, according to adolescents, for bullying is deviant appearance (Frisén et al., 2008, Frisén et al., 2009 and Thornberg, 2011). For instance, Frisén et al. (2008) found that the most common response adolescents gave as to why adolescents are bullied was that the victims have a deviant appearance, such as being ugly, fat, small, wears braces, or look different. Studies of a related concept, appearance-related teasing—a term that does not have the strict criteria that the term bullying has—found that the targets of appearance-related teasing had low body esteem ( Frisén and Holmqvist, 2010, Lunde et al., 2006, Rieves and Cash, 1996, Sweetingham and Waller, 2008 and Thompson et al., 1995), dietary restraint ( Halvarsson, Lunner, Westerberg, Anteson, & Sjöden, 2002), and depressive symptoms ( Eisenberg, Neumark-Sztainer, & Paxton, 2006). In the context of the cyber world, a recent study by Frisén et al. (2014) found that victims of cyberbullying reported lower body esteem than non-cybervictims. Furthermore, there are two studies that have examined the connection between social networking sites and body esteem among adolescent girls. Tiggemann and Miller (2010) showed that exposure to the Internet is associated with lower body esteem. Actually, they concluded that it is not the use of the Internet per se that influences body esteem negatively, but the use of specific social networking sites, such as Facebook. Meier and Gray (2014) revealed that adolescent girls who used Facebook photo applications reported lower body esteem than girls who did not. While such research has resulted in an understanding about how the Internet and the use of social networking sites influence body esteem, understanding of the problems of appearance-related cyberbullying is still very poor. Clearly, there is a lack of research when it comes to the understanding of appearance-related cyberbullying. This study, therefore, aimed to explore adolescents’ experiences of appearance-related cyberbullying, by addressing the following questions: (1) what characterizes adolescents who are involved as victims or bullies in appearance-related cyberbullying? (2) In what specific ways are adolescents cyberbullied about their appearances? (3) Why is cyberbullying directed at appearance? (4) What effects are associated with appearance-related cyberbullying?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results This study explored adolescents’ experiences of appearance-related cyberbullying. Seven themes and four subthemes emerged. The themes and subthemes are described in more detail below, with quotes to illustrate them. Appearance-Related Cyberbullying is Especially Aimed at Girls All adolescents perceived that it is common to be the target of appearance-related cyberbullying. The adolescents perceived that anyone could be a victim of appearance-related cyberbullying, but that victims usually are girls. They underlined that it is something they have to be prepared for when interacting on social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram. The adolescents also reported that, in addition to girls, cyberbullying targeted some other groups more than others, namely, those who differ in their appearance, and adolescents (compared to other age groups). Appearance-Related Cyberbullying, a Potent Strategy When Attempting to Hurt Girls The adolescents repeatedly returned to the issue of appearance-related cyberbullying being more relevant to girls than to boys. Moreover, they described it to be more “effective” to cyberbully girls about their appearance than to cyberbully boys about their appearance. The adolescents said that there does not have to be something different about the cybervictimized girls’ appearances. Instead, appearance becomes a way to get to girls that cyberbullies for some reason want to hurt. The adolescents said that the hurting becomes especially potent if one comments on something that the girl is known to feel bad about, for instance, her weight. One girl described it as follows: “Or if someone is insecure about their appearance, then people tend to use that because they know… it's a good weapon then.” According to the adolescents, both boys and girls use this “weapon,” but it almost exclusively fires at girls. In one of the focus groups, the boys discussed different ways to lower girls’ confidence by making appearance-related comments. This way of cyberbullying is exemplified by the following statement of a boy: “You tell them they are ugly, that they are fat, and then they don’t have any confidence and think bad about themselves.” Cyberbullies and Their Reasons Just as anyone could be a victim of appearance-related cyberbullying, the adolescents perceived that a cyberbully generally also could be anyone. Furthermore, the adolescents reported a range of reasons for writing mean things about someone's appearance. For instance, according to the adolescents, an important reason for cyberbullies is to attain higher social status at someone else's expense. Another comment was that cyberbullies want to receive as many “likes” (a “like” means that someone has pressed the symbol “Like” on an item on Facebook to show appreciation) as possible by posting mean things about others. One boy described the following reason for engaging in appearance-related cyberbullying: It [seeming cool] is also such a thing that matters a lot, I think, because many people want to, like, show off, show that they are big and strong, you know. And to do that on Facebook where you’ve got maybe two, three, four hundred friends, and then, ah, and then other people see it, and then it's quite a lot who will see it. Some adolescents were also of the view that cyberbullies bully because it is thrilling or that they are seeking attention. Furthermore, many adolescents believed that cyberbullies write mean things about someone's appearance because they do not feel good about themselves and want to feel better by making someone else feel bad. In the focus groups, and primarily in the groups with girls, adolescents also talked about cyberbullies being jealous. As an example, a girl said: If I wrote something mean then it would be like pure jealousy, because I would feel like, just, eh, “She is so fucking perfect, she's got a perfect life and I want that too,” then maybe I would think just like “Ah, but then I’ll write a mean comment, so that she doesn’t get such an actual perfect life.” Cybervictims and Cyberbullies Can be Found Everywhere Online The participants perceived that cybervictims and cyberbullies can be found everywhere where adolescents interact online or through mobile phones. However, the adolescents agreed that appearance-related cyberbullying is currently most common on the social networking site Facebook. They explained that this is probably because Facebook is the most popular site right now. For instance, one adolescent said: On Facebook you comment on everyone's photos, right; you comment everyone's photos! That's how it is. Usually I see nice comments. Usually, but it's there you comment the most, so it's probably there it [the appearance-related cyberbullying] happens the most often. Apart from Facebook, they mentioned Instagram, blogs, YouTube, Skype, and text messages as sites where appearance-related cyberbullying frequently occur. The Content of Appearance-Related Cyberbullying When analyzing the focus group discussions in terms of what types of appearance-related comments cybervictims receive, it became apparent that two different types of content existed. These types were separated into the following two subthemes: Cyberbullying aimed at one's style and Cyberbullying directed at one's body. These subthemes are described in more detail below. Cyberbullying aimed at one's style. The adolescents talked about that appearance-related cyberbullying often is aimed at one's style, for instance clothing style or hair style. The adolescents said that being cyberbullied for one's style is something that happens to both boys and girls. The adolescents described how it is not possible to dress as one wants without taking into account the risk of being cyberbullied, if dressing in a way that sets one apart from other adolescents. The adolescents reported that comments about style often are combined with the word ugly (“ugly shoes,” for instance). They also said that they might receive comments based on what people see in the photos and presume is their style. For example, among the boys, it was described as common to receive comments for looking or seeming “gay.” One boy explained: You know, there are a lot, like… eh, guys, that upload photos of themselves and then there's a text above, like, that's supposed to, you know, mean something… something poetic or something like that, and then… Everyone else just think it's gay and stuff like that. Because you write it and take a picture of yourself, then people believe you’re gay. The boys perceived that looking or seeming gay was perceived to be negative and something to be avoided. The boys discussed different ways to prevent themselves from seeming gay, and according to them, the best way was to not upload photos of themselves at all. Among the girls it was described as common to be called a “whore” or “slut”. Cyberbullying directed at one's body. Apart from cyberbullying aimed at one's style, many adolescents perceived that appearance-related cyberbullying is often directed at another person's body. The most common form seemed to be calling someone ugly. Otherwise, the adolescents reported that the comments are directed more at certain parts or features of the body, such as a big nose or acne. The adolescents perceived that there is a difference between boys and girls in that the girls receive more comments, both positive and negative, about their bodies on the Internet than boys do. The adolescents also noted that girls receive comments about their bodies from both boys and girls. The negative comments that girls receive are usually about height, weight, breasts, and hair. Negative comments especially about weight, such as being overweight or fat, were mentioned as common in the focus groups with girls. When discussing what adolescents get cyberbullied about, one girl said: “…but mostly it's about being fat, you know, how fat you are, but I think it's mostly about size, regardless.” The boys stated that cyberbullying about one's body may involve expressions of irony, such as commenting in relation to a boy's photo that he has a muscular body, when that obviously is not the case. Getting comments on having or not having a muscular body were, according to both boys and girls, something that almost solely happens to boys. Girls’ Attention Seeking on Social Networking Sites and Appearance-Related Cyberbullying The adolescents explained that seeking attention on social networking sites creates risks for appearance-related cyberbullying among girls. The adolescents’ discussions were coded into two subthemes. The first subtheme is Appearance is what counts online, and the second is that Girls try to live up to ideals of appearance on social networking sites. Appearance is what counts online. Many adolescents perceived that appearance-related cyberbullying is a corollary of appearance being the only thing you see of a person online. Both boys and girls described the concept of social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram as places where people upload photos of themselves where they look as good as possible in order to receive as many “likes” as possible. As one girl described it, But it's, like, what it's all about nowadays on Facebook, anyway, like, you want the attention. It is… that… everyone should think that “Oh, she's good looking,” or “Oh, look at this, look at this.” And then you feel just like, if they think I’m fine, then I am fine. Additionally, according to the adolescents, this concept of looking good in order to get “likes” almost exclusively applies to girls. Both boys and girls observed that uploading photos mainly is a way for girls to get attention. They said that all girls upload photos of themselves all the time; in one focus group with girls this phenomenon was described as a “mania for acknowledgement.” Boys who upload pictures where they look good in order to get “likes” will, instead, as mentioned earlier, risk receiving comments about being gay. The adolescents talked about girls using social media sites to promote their appearance, but this behaviour is not as important for boys. As one boy explained: “Well yeah it's always fun to receive a comment like ‘Oh, you look good’ or something, but it's, like, maybe we don’t really feel the same need [as girls do].” Girls try to live up to ideals of appearance on social networking sites. In the focus groups with girls there was, in relation to appearance being what counts online, a lot of talk about ideals. The girls explained that there are ideals about appearance and how one's body should look. One girl described it as follows: “One should be very skinny, with large breasts, shapely rear end and perfect hair.” The girls discussed the ideals as deriving from media and commercials, and from what boys like. As one girl articulated: I don’t think a lot of people think about it, but I think that we actually are very much affected by what boys think, and I think it is that way, even though you say that it isn’t, but that is the main reason. Then maybe you also are affected by other girls who are trying to get so thin, and they work out all the time, and no carbs, and all that is now, but the main [reason], why they do it, is also largely because it is what boys… You want to be popular, you want people to like you, you want boys to like you. The girls in the focus groups talked about how girls often use social networking sites to try to portray themselves in accordance with the ideals. However, most of the girls found it impossible to live up to the ideals. They also said that most girls feel bad about the way they look and the fact that they do not look like the ideal. The girls expressed that receiving positive comments and “likes” about uploaded photos of themselves was perceived as a confirmation that they look somewhat like the ideals. But the girls also described that they are extra sensitive to comments about not looking like the ideal, because they choose their photos to upload, and they choose photos in which they think they look their best. In the focus groups with boys, living up to ideals on social networking sites was not discussed. Girls and Boys React Differently to Appearance-Related Cyberbullying The adolescents perceived that girls and boys react differently when cyberbullied for something appearance related. Boys, as noted by both boys and girls, tended to act out, or not to take offence at all. For instance, one boy explained, “I don’t usually get offended if someone writes something stupid. I usually see it as irony or something else. I’m someone who jokes sometimes as well.” When it comes to acting out, the boys talked about getting back at someone who is cyberbullying others, by using violence. One boy described it this way: “If someone had commented on my photo, it does not matter who the person is, me and my friends had looked them up, found them and beaten them.” Interestingly, the girls in the focus groups commented that girls tended to take greater offence and to be quieter about the incident than the boys. Overall, the girls discussed more negative consequences of appearance-related cyberbullying than the boys did. For example, the girls reported that victims of appearance-related cyberbullying are at risk for becoming very introverted. This can be illustrated by the fact that they avoid uploading photos of themselves as well as avoiding showing themselves in public. According to the girls, these negative consequences affect the entire person, and not only the way she interacts on social networking sites. The girls talked about experiencing lower self-confidence and self-esteem, being depressed, and even committing suicide, due to appearance-related cyberbullying. The negative consequences discussed were often described as irreversible, and one girl said: “but everything concerning appearance… If I get a comment, I feel like really bad, and I can be, you know, I can feel terrible for, like, years, like, over one single comment.”