Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.

Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.

The essay discusses the differences between being shamed on social media vs. being physically bullied. Personal experiences and reflections of future ramifications are provided.

Physical Bullying
Physical bullying presents a rather serious problem, which consequences adversely affect both the bully and the victim. Beyond that the effects of physical bullying often concern parents, teachers and a wider community. Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.The nature of physical bullying is complex as it involves various forms of adverse interaction ranging from hitting or fighting a victim to sexual harassment or sexual assault. In most cases, hitting is preceded by preliminary set of physical interference with the victim by means of spitting, slapping, tripping or pushing. The core features of physical bullying embrace targeting the same victim repeatedly, embarrassing or intimidating the victim (Juvonen & Graham, 2014).

Middle school is defined as the most prone environment for physical bullying. There is probably no middle school student on Earth who has not been affected by physical bullying directly or indirectly. I myself was bullied for a number of times by the classmate who stayed withdrawn from others, got depressed and sought a victim to recompense for his own problems. In high school, I often felt psychologically bullied by the classmate who lacked control and often expressed mood swings ranging from sadness to anger. The major motivation for bullies is to prove one’s identity and get fit in with the mainstream. Sadly, many students tend to achieve this prime recognition by the majority by humiliating their weaker or disadvantaged peers (Juvonen & Graham, 2014).


Further on, physical bullying is often the case in adulthood when people fail to find proper words or diplomatic means to solve their problems. However, unlike in the middle school environments, physical bullying in adulthood assumes serious risks often ending in lawsuits and legal charges. Therefore, unless it is hooliganism or occasional street fighting, physical bullying is not the case in open civilized environments. By contrast, physical bullying is usually a means of human interaction in closed environments such as criminal underworld or prisons (Brank, Hoetger, & Hazen, 2012).

Being Shamed on Social Media
An indispensable part of today’s digital life is bullying people through social media networks. Many people use the Internet to blacken others by undermining truth, fomenting distrust, or jeopardizing. While such counteractions are not physical since they do not assume physical contact or interaction, their effects entail dire physical and emotional repercussions to the victim’s health. Numerous trolls may easily diminish one’s reputation and good name, for example.Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion. The victim’s privacy may be scandalously disclosed to the public eye. At that, much of the actions aimed to downgrade someone’s image intend to cause media hype and public shame.

Recently, public shaming has much deconstructed our beliefs about what is the norm and normal. Cyber-bullying has become synonymous to physical or psychological humiliation. When misinformation goes viral it exponentially disseminates causing adverse reputational damages both online and in the victim’s real-life. Public shaming spreads like fire while most people take the spread lies for granted without ever double-checking the facts. This means, that today’s vehemently digitalized society does not need brutal physical means to ruin someone’s life; few clicks online are just enough. At that, mostly envy, anger and frustration with the reality drive people to publicly shame more successful people, particularly celebrities and politicians. Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.Considering the eternity and boundless reach of the Internet, nobody is safe from being unfairly shamed, biased or prejudiced with the innovative high-tech “tattoo” and their countless implications: “Google has an engine-Google AdWords-that tells you how many times your name has been searched for during any given month” (Ronson, p. 71).

Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media
Rather than humiliating or causing physically harm to someone weaker (the victim), shaming someone publicly assumes a whole range of attacker’s personal prejudices to the victim. While the implications of physical bullying in adulthood are mostly situational and attributed to the internal rules of closed environments, the implications of being shamed on social media are often long-lasting and downgrading. The speed of dissemination through social media channels virtually equals to the speed of light. Given the size of the reached audiences, individual or corporate name or reputation may be buried in seconds. Digital shaming that supposes being the victim of a public shaming is literally about ruining one’s life, physically, emotionally, or financially.

The major difference between physical bullying and online harassment is that the latter assumes adverse repercussions for the victim’s future. The overall rising of incivility standards assumes that public shaming will be further applied as a proper means of forcing or blackmailing people or companies. Beyond one-time physical action or assault assumed by physical bullying, being shamed on social media is about losing one’s reputational stance and leverage. Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.This is equally harmful to trusted public persons and companies that build up their reputation and brand identity for decades (Jacquet, 2016).

By contrast to physical bullying, however, social media shaming may be even justified in cases when secret information is revealed to public eye. For example, a company illegally uses child labor to boost its revenues or fails to comply with corporate social responsibility standards by polluting the environment. In these cases, I am among the advocates of using social media to shame such corporate misdeeds in affair and balanced way.
The analysis has shown that being physically bullied would assume far less serious implications for my future. Conversely, I would be much more psychologically undermined I I would have ever been publicly shamed. This is because the causes and effects of physical bullying might be solved overnight. By contrast, public shaming through social media is a rather dear challenge that would need years to cope with. In this case, nobody can guarantee full recovery of caused emotional and reputational losses. Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.


  • Brank, E, Hoetger, & Hazen, K. (2012). “Bullying,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science. 8 (1): 213–230.
  • Jacquet, J. (2016). Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool, Vintage.
  • Juvonen, J., & Graham, S. (2014). Bullying in Schools: The Power of Bullies and the Plight of Victims. Annual Review of Psychology. 65: 159–85.
  • Ronson, J. (2016). “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” Riverhead Books. New York. Retrieved November 20, 2018 from
  • Physical Bullying vs. Being Shamed on Social Media Discussion.

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