A Patchwork and a Safety Net: The Use and Abuse of Technology in Frankenstein and Today: “Second Blog”

Since the last time I blogged for this project, I believe we have made excellent progress. We first began to consult many sources in an attempt to identify the populations most affected by cyberbullying. We also analyzed existing research into what causes teenagers to commit the offense of cyberbullying, and discussed the two main aspects of cyberbullying: cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment. Among the cases we read about, these two types of bullying were the most likely to occur and both can have a major effect on teenagers’ lives. We connected these many cases, as many of them have common elements. As you may know, in the first blog post we wrote about the well-known Amanda Todd case, the recent case of Rebecca Sedwick which made nationwide news in October of 2013, and we also touched upon the Phoebe Prince case. We also included the experience of a close family friend of mine. This issue played a role in changing my friend’s life, his family’s life, and my life forever. This is one of many reasons I chose to study this topic. I am not revealing all that is in the paper here, because I do not want to ruin everything that we analyzed, studied, and wrote about — I am just relating some of the major points to provide an idea of what our research is about. However, I will tell you this; Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein has many connections to today’s cyberbullying that you won’t believe. You will find that in a whole separate section within our essay.

One major question that came to mind while doing this project was: how are parents able to know and monitor what their middle school and high school age children are doing on the Internet, and who are they interacting with? This project had many struggles. I conducted a Facebook survey online for teens to take, but no one took it because they felt uncomfortable. I also gave out surveys standing outside of public stores and public places such as parks. Unfortunately, no one took those either, so I ended up not using that idea in my project. The last struggle was developing my app; I couldn’t fully develop it within three months.  However, I do have specific designs that I made as to how I want my app to look and how it will function. I will submit these designs to Pace University as an integral component of my project. I am hopeful and confident that one day my designs for this app will be launched as a workable application, so parents can be notified if their child is being cyberbullied, or being a cyberbully. In addition, we have successfully created a website that parents can visit to read about my study and about cyberbullying, as well as offer places where they can seek help and services, and where they can obtain more information about my “app-in-progress.”



A Patchwork and a Safety Net: The Use and Abuse of Technology in Frankenstein and Today” First Blog

Bullying has been a phenomenon that has harmed many teenagers’ self –esteem, through methods such as attacking teens verbally and physically in public places such as in schools and public parks. However, in today’s society, with the growth of technology and social networking, teenagers are constantly being bullied through the use of computers and mobile phones. With a click of a button teens can make their friends and sometimes a whole school turn against a person by calling them names and making fun of their photos. That one place the victim thought would be safe from attack does not exist anymore — they are now bullied everywhere they turn, including online. This is similar to the creature in the novel Frankenstein, who was built through technology. He is portrayed as an ugly beast and everyone attacks him for being different. Today’s technology is often being abused by portraying people, mostly vulnerable teenagers, as ugly creatures who are not wanted in this world. That’s where are title “A Patchwork and a Safety Net: The Use and Abuse of Technology in Frankenstein and Today” comes in.


Professor Hearst and I are reading scholarly articles from different universities that discuss cyber bullying as a major issue. We are also reading real life cases / articles concerning what some people had to go through such as depression and turning to suicide if cyber bullying is not detected at early stage, such as the Amanda Todd case and other well known cases. According to The New York Times, over 55% of teenagers have been bullied or seen bullying through the internet and social media. This shows that this is a nationwide problem that’s only getting worse by the day and needs to be addressed quickly. We are also analyzing some solutions that can be put into place for cyber bullying, such as blocking people from one’s social media such as Facebook, and seeing how this works or does not work to stop the bullying online. We are also examining whether reporting a violation works for teens. I will be also conducting a short Facebook survey where my friends will answer and share their cyber bullying experiences. They will share the survey so I can get many useful samples for my data. I cannot wait to expand my research further