WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CYBERBULLYING AND HOW IT AFFECTS PEOPLE
While bullying mainly happens in schools, cyberbullying, as you may already understand, occurs most often online.
Cyberbullying is the much-talked-about but much less understood component of bullying. While bullying mainly happens in schools, cyberbullying, as you may already understand, occurs most often online.
What is cyberbullying? Put plainly, cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. Because of this, cyberbullying can take place virtually anywhere and happen to anyone on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms, and mobile phones. It has a tendency of being relentless behavior, aimed at scaring, angering, or shaming those who are targeted.
Some examples of cyberbullying include:
- Spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos or videos of someone on social media
- Sending hurtful, abusive, or threatening messages, images, or videos via messaging platforms
- Impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf or through fake accounts.
Face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other. But cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.
How does cyberbullying affect the victim?
When someone is being bullied online, it may feel like they are being attacked everywhere, even from the safety of their own home. For the victim, it might feel like they have no place to escape. The impact of bullying/cyberbullying may last a long time and affect a person in several ways:
- It might affect a person mentally, the target might feel upset, embarrassed, stupid, or even afraid or angry.
- It might affect a person emotionally, the target might feel ashamed or lose interest in doing things that they love.
- It might affect a person physically and make them feel tired from lack of sleep, or experience symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, or nausea.
The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.
Cyberbullying can affect us in many ways. But these can be overcome and people can regain their confidence and health.
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