Cyberbullying or Cyber Harassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying is also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers as the digital sphere and technology have expanded.
Cyberbullying is when someone harasses or bullies others on the internet, particularly on social media sites. Online threats and mean, aggressive, or rude texts, tweets, posts, or messages all count. So does posting personal information, pictures, or videos designed to hurt or embarrass someone else.
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Effects of Cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying in many cases is an extension of already existing traditional bullying. Victims of cyberbullying may not know the identity of their bully, or why the bully is targeting them. Due to this, they may experience lower self-esteem, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, or depressed.
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.
Ways people bully online:
Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms, and mobile phones. It is a repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering, or shaming those who are targeted. For instance-
- Spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos of someone on social media.
- Sending hurtful messages or threats via messaging platforms.
- Impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf.
Why do people do it?
Why would someone be a cyberbully? There are various reasons as to why people do it.
But sometimes, what seems like online harassment may be accidental. The impersonal nature of text messages, posts, and other ways of communicating online can be hard to figure out if someone is joking or not. Most people know when they’re being bullied because bullying involves repeated insults and threats. The people doing it also knows that they’ve crossed the line. It’s not a one-time thing- it’s constant harassment and threats that go beyond typical fun teasing or a nasty comment made in anger.
What can you do about Cyberbullying?
Sometimes, people are not sure if they’re being bullied or not and so they don’t do anything about it. If you’re being bullied, harassed, or teased in a hurtful way or know someone who’s going through this, then you should report and not suffer alone in silence.
The first thing that you should do is to talk to someone about it. You can tell it to your parents, family member, or any elder person whom you trust completely. If you’re cyberbullied you may feel embarrassed or reluctant to report a bully. Some may hesitate because they’re not 100% sure who is doing the bullying. But bullying can get worse, so speak up until you find someone to help. Sometimes the police can track down an anonymous online bully, so it’s often worthwhile to report it.
The next thing you can do is to walk away. If you see something upsetting, try to step away from the computer or turn off your phone for a while. Don’t respond, and never forward the message to someone else. Find something to distract yourself from what’s going on. Do something you love that doesn’t give you time to think about what’s happening like going for a run, watching a movie, etc. Taking a break like this allows you to keep things in perspective and focus on the good things in your life. It also gives you time to figure out how you want to handle things.
Report bullying. Social media sites take it seriously when people post cruel or mean things or create fake accounts. If users report abuse, the site administrator may block the bully from using the site in the future. If someone sends you mean texts or emails, report it to phone service or email providers.
Afraid to confront your parents about cyberbullying?
Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. Choose a time to talk when you know you have their full attention. Explain how serious the problem is for you. Remember, they might not be as familiar with technology as you are, so you might need to help them to understand what’s happening. They might not have instant answers for you, but they are likely to want to help and together you can find a solution. Two heads are always better than one! If you are still unsure about what to do, consider reaching out to other trusted people.
How can you help someone who’s going through cyberbullying?
Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. If you see this happening to someone you know, try to offer support. It is important to listen to your friend. Why don’t they want to report being cyberbullied? How are they feeling? Let them know that they don’t have to formally report anything, but it’s crucial to talk to someone who might be able to help.
Help them think through what they might say and to whom. Offer to go with them if they decide to report. Most importantly, remind them that you’re there for them and you want to help. If your friend still does not want to report the incident, then support them in finding a trusted adult who can help them deal with the situation. Remember that in certain situations the consequences of cyberbullying can be life-threatening.
What to do if you’re being bullied on famous social sites?
If you’re bullied on Facebook or Instagram-
Reporting content to Facebook or Instagram can help you better keep safe on your platforms. Reporting a case of cyberbullying is always anonymous on Instagram and Facebook, and no one will ever know you let them know about this behavior.
You can report something you experience yourself, but it’s also just as easy to report for one of your friends using the tools available directly in the app. More information on how to report something is included in Instagram’s Help Center and on Facebook’s Help Center. You could also let your friend know about a tool on Instagram called Restrict, where you can discreetly protect your account without having to block someone which can seem harsh for some people.
THANK YOU FOR READING: I hope this article cleared some of your doubts and helped you in some way. If there are any questions related to cyberbullying then feel free to ask in the comment section below, we'll get to you with answers. Also, if you're interested in similar articles then here are a few recommendations for you guys. Augmented reality and Virtual Reality 10 reasons to be active on Twitter