For decades, bullying has harmed children and teenagers. However, we have only lately begun to understand the mental health effects of bullying, affecting the sufferer, bystanders, and perpetrators.
Bullying has the potential to negatively impact a child’s or adolescent’s mental health and well-being. Parents, teachers, coaches, and other youth-serving people are in situations to recognize signs of mental distress or bullying behavior.
Installing parental control apps on your child’s gadgets and monitoring their online use is the simplest approach to prevent cyberbullying. It also helps you keep track of any internet threats.
What is Cyberbullying?
Bullying that occurs through digital technology such as cell phones, computers, and tablets is known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can occur offline in social networks, communities, and gaming where people can see, interact with, or trade content and online in places like social networks, forums, and gaming where people can watch, interact with, or interact with trade content.
Sending, uploading, or disseminating ugly, harmful, misleading, or derogatory content about another person is defined as cyberbullying. It can include revealing personal or private facts about another person in a way that causes embarrassment or humiliation to that individual.
The following are the most common sites where cyberbullying occurs:
- Social media networks include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
- Apps for texting and messaging on smartphones and tablets.
- Direct messaging, instant messaging, and online chatting are all methods of communicating through the internet.
- Reddit, for example, has chat rooms, online forums, and message boards.
- Forums for gamers online.
What motivates people to engage in cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying can arise for several reasons, but it may be more tempting due to its anonymity. According to Stopbullying.gov, two types of people are inclined to bully: popular and those on the social periphery.
Bullying can occur for the following reasons:
- They regard it as a method to maintain their popularity.
- Attackers think that bullying provides them with a sense of power.
For the following reasons, bullying could arise among teenagers who are less socially successful:
- It aids them in overcoming their lack of self-esteem.
- They believe it will enable them to blend in with their classmates.
- They have a hard time empathizing with individuals who they have harmed.
Bullies’ actions are frequently motivated by personal issues. According to Stopbullying.gov, bullies have fewer involved parents, are less enthusiastic about school, and are unhappy or stressed. They frequently struggle to regulate their emotions and urges, as well as to obey rules.
Other reasons why people try to abuse others include the following:
Anonymity—Cyberbullying allows bullies to avoid confronting their victims, requiring less courage and providing the idea that they are going unnoticed.
Ignorance of the consequences—According to the National Council on Crime Prevention, 81 percent of youngsters believe they cyberbully because it amuses them. Cyberbullies may be unaware of the extent of their harm because they do not see their victims’ reactions in person.
Social pressure—Some cyberbullies may believe that their activities are unimportant and socially acceptable, particularly if their peers support them.
Cyberbullying’s mental effects
Victims of cyberbullying may have a different interaction with the world than other people.
They could lose interest in previously enjoyable activities and spend less time with family and friends. Suicidal thoughts and depression might appear under specific situations.
Anxiety and Depression
Cyberbullying victims are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and other stress-related illnesses. The added burden of dealing with cyberbullying regularly and hurt might take away their joy and fulfillment, making you feel more worried and isolated.
Cyberbullying can also destroy one’s self-esteem and self-worth, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Increased levels of cyberbullying have regularly been linked to increased levels of depression, according to research. According to one study, 93 percent of those who have been cyberbullied have expressed feelings of despair, impotence, and hopelessness.
If your children are abused online, they may lose attention in school. As a result, they frequently have far higher absenteeism rates than youngsters who are not bullied. They may miss school to avoid being harassed online by other students or because the words they were given were humiliating and embarrassing.
Their grades may suffer as a result of their inability to concentrate or study. Kids may also drop out of school or lose interest in continuing their education beyond high school in some situations.
Cyberbullying frequently focuses on the aspects of victims’ lives that make them feel most vulnerable.
Even if this isn’t the case, cyberbullying can hurt one’s self-esteem. Victims of bullying may have a considerable deal of self-dissatisfaction. As a result, people may begin to doubt their value and deservingness.
Cyberbullying, according to researchers, may induce psychological maladjustment, poor well-being, and eventually low self-esteem in young people since they have a great psychological urge to connect to and be accepted by a peer group.
Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts
Targets of cyberbullying have been known to harm themselves in some way in response to their intense feelings. Some people, for example, may self-harm by cutting or burning themselves. Bullying and self-harm have been related in numerous studies.
Suicide is also increased as a result of cyberbullying. Kids whose peers frequently bully via text messages, instant chatting, social media, or apps may feel hopeless and believe that the only way to stop the misery is to commit suicide.
As a result, individuals can fantasize about dying to getaway.
Best ways to fight against cyberbullying
Don’t respond right away.
If someone attempts to harass you, do not reply directly or become fearful, as this is exactly how the bully sees you. Don’t go overboard, as this will only give the bully more ability to hurt you. Patience is required.
Keep all of the evidence.
So, if you have any proof or evidence about the bully, such as messages, photographs, emails, or any other evidence, save it and keep it secure. Under the cyberbully law act, this proof can be used against the bully. So, even if the bullying is tiny or insignificant, keep everything safe to be used to combat digital bullying and escalate.
Tell someone you can trust.
Preferably, speak with an adult you can trust; this will help you relax a little. It is preferable to include your parents, as they are a powerful support system for you in both good and bad times.
Block and delete.
When you’re abused and notice that it’s getting worse, block and report the bully, it will not benefit you if you remain silent. If the bully is messaging you, sending photographs, or making comments, go to your privacy settings and ban the offender from doing so.
Keep passwords safe.
It is the best idea to keep your passwords for your online and social media accounts safe. It is critical, especially for teenagers, that they keep their passwords safe and secure. Allowing the bullies access to your account is not a good idea.
Make sure you don’t get yourself into any difficulty.
It’s a horrible sensation to be bullied. As a result, don’t allow someone to bully you from wherever. For a few seconds, imagine yourself being bullied; this will prevent you from getting bullying and other potentially damaging online actions.
If your teenager is being bullied online, you must aid them in stopping it. It may entail notifying social media companies, school officials, and possibly the police about cyberbullying. Make sure you’re trying everything that you can to stop the harassment, including researching cyberbullying laws.
Meanwhile, don’t discount your child’s emotions. Do you empower them? Communicate with them daily and keep an eye on any changes in their mood or conduct. If you detect any changes, seek the advice of a healthcare expert.
Anyone who has been the victim of cyberbullying could benefit from consulting a psychologist or therapist who can teach them appropriate coping and response methods. Developing appropriate coping methods can assist your child in weathering this storm while also helping them develop resilience and tenacity.
Author: Keira Zelman
Keira Zelmanis a parent-focused writer at MobileSpy. She focuses her efforts on helping children reach their full potential academically, in social and linguistic terms and fosters and promotes the growth and development of parents and children. She aims to build a better and positive environment for children through her writings.