Harshtag: The Effects of Cyberharassment through the Social Media on the Self-Concept of Filipinos aged 18-24 years living in Metro Manila

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Abstract Mateo, F.M. & Mercado, F.C. (2013). Harshtag: The effects of cyberharassment through the social media on the self-concept of Filipino undergraduate college students aged 18 to 24 years living in Metro Manila, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

Most studies on cyberharassment that have been conducted examined its occurrence on the Internet in general, and involved middle school students in foreign settings. The present study addresses the gaps in these previous studies by bringing into focus the social media and examining the cyberharassment phenomenon vis-a-vis its effects on three self-concept domains (i.e., intellectual status, self-satisfaction, and social relations) of undergraduate college students aged 18-24 years in Metro Manila. Concepts from the Social Cognitive Theory and the Self-Concept Development Theory were used as the analytical anchors of the study. The results of the online survey suggest that depending on various factors (i.e., number of occurrences, nature, identity of harasser, and sites of cyberharassment), there were negative effects on the self-concepts of the cyberharassment victims. Intellectual status was found to be the most stable domain: the respondents generally had positive perceptions of their intellectual status, regardless of their cyberharassment victimization. In contrast, ratings for self-satisfaction and social relations appeared to be vulnerable to variations in cyberharassment experiences. From the semi-structured interviews, it was discovered that cyberharassment also had positive outcomes. Specifically, the experience motivated their victims to excel, strengthen their relationships, and develop sensitivity towards people and circumstances.

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