Bullying was initially something that happened in playgrounds at school, school buses and on the way to school for those kids who walked. This was probably just the only time a child experienced bullying cause when they got home no one was harassing them anymore – the bully went home too. However, with the popularity of the internet and social media networks, online live streams, online gaming and more, bullying gained a whole new other meaning. It turned from the traditional bullying we know into a giant beast we now know as cyberbullying.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying really is no different from the traditional bullying we were familiar with. The aim is still the same and that is to cause harm, emotional distress and embarrassment towards someone else. The only thing that set traditional bullying and cyberbullying apart is the fact that cyberbullying happens on a larger scale because of the access and vastness of the internet and social online platforms.
Why is cyberbullying more harmful when compared to traditional face-face bullying?
Cyberbullying as a massive impact on victims and here are the reasons why the magnitude of cyberbullying is so intense:
- The scale: Compare to bullying that occurs in the playground, cyberbullying takes place online (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc.). This then means many people get to see a victim being humiliated on these platforms and that brings more shame to whoever is being victimized.
- Lasting effects: Comments, pictures or videos shared online with the intent of causing harm and humiliating victims can last for a very long time online, this then means whenever the victim see those comments and images harm and hurt will be re-inflicted whenever the view or read the comments.
- The spread of the bullying: Things shared on social media have the possibility of going viral and bad things usually spread more quickly compared to the good. The viral spread of the victim’s cyberbullying can also have a negative impact on them.
- The bully never goes away: They are there during the day, at night and still there when the person who is being bullied wakes up in the morning.
The dangers that cyberbullying can contribute towards
Cyberbullying can contribute to a lot of alarming and life-threatening effects more especially to the victim. According to studies, these are some of the things children or teenagers who have experienced cyberbullying or are victims cyberbullying can suffer from:
- Depression and other mental health-related issues
- Low self-esteem
- Obesity (some kids seek comfort from eating excessively to make themselves feel better)
- Lack of trust towards family members and friends
You can learn how you can identify cyberbullying symptoms if you suspect your child is being bullied online here.