What Are The Real-Life Implications Of Cyberbullying?
Considering how social media has become an extensive part of the lives of teens and young adults, cases of cyberbullying have grown alongside it. Cyberbullying victims make up 11% of high school students, with 4% behind cyberbullying attacks and 7% have been on both sides of cyberbullying. Additionally, emotional states, day-to-day behavior, and general mental health reveal themselves as the consequences to the victims.
What is cyberbullying?
Using electronic communication to bully counts as cyberbullying and typically involves spreading harmful messages or images about someone. This occurs through the use of electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, and tablets.
A common myth about cyberbullying is that it's just poking fun at someone online and
not worse than face-to-face bullying. However, some experts claim it's more damaging than face-to-face bullying because it occurs continuously. Some common examples are:
- Harassment: Spreading messages or images that are threatening, offensive, or vulgar.
- Recording: Cell phones are used to record fights, bullying behavior, and other criminal misconduct. Massive online viewing often accompanies these videos.
- Flaming: Through electronic messages, flaming involves fights with others using angry or vulgar statements.
- Denigration: Rumors, gossip, and false statements are used to persecute others online.
- Impersonation: Online content is posted that destroys an individual's persona and gets them into dangerous situations, trouble, or harms their reputation by someone adopting their identity.
- Doxxing and trickery: Personal information is spread about someone without their consent.
- Exclusion: Excluding someone from an online group on purpose.
Cyberbullying Warning Signs
Most parents lack knowledge of the severe and, on occasion, long-term implications of cyberbullying. A wide array of signs and symptoms may suggest a teen or young adult is the victim of cyberbullying:
- Drastic, sudden mood or behavior changes on their computer or mobile phone.
- Negative physical changes include fatigue, headaches, weight loss, nausea, and other physical stressors due to anxiety and stress.
- Sleep pattern changes include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping excessively.
- Lack of engagement in activities they used to enjoy.
- Declining academic performance. More absences and poor test performance are common among depressed individuals.
- Withdrawal of electronic devices to avoid cyberbullying.
How To Help A Victim Of Cyberbullying
Depending on the method of bullying used, you may need to help the victim by doing the following:
- Block the bully: They may need encouragement to block the bully if they're being harassed through social media, text messages, or other digital activity.
- Report it to the appropriate person: Depending on the method and parties involved, school officials or an online service provider may need to be informed of cyberbullying. If their school or place of employment doesn't help, getting in touch with the local police department or district attorney's office right away is the next best move.
- Document the evidence: Working with the victim to retrieve proof is crucial, especially if legal action is taken against an individual, school, or company.
- Monitor your child's online activity: Consistent supervision, such as establishing internet usage rules and computer and cell phone supervision, is essential for defending your child against cyberbullying.