Cyberbullying is a form of bullying or harassment that uses electronic means. Harmful bullying includes rumors, threats, sexual remarks, personal information of victims, and derogatory labels. Cyberbullying has become more prevalent among teenagers as the digital world has expanded and technology has advanced.
Cyberbullying can range from embarrassing and cruel online posts and digital images to online threats, harassment, negative comments, and stalking via email, websites, social media platforms, and texts. All age groups are vulnerable to cyberbullying, with teenagers and young adults the most common victims.
Cyberbullying has become a problem outside school and has become an issue on the Internet because the anonymous attraction of bullies and their intimidation is difficult to understand. Victims of cyberbullying often do not know who their bullies are or who they are targeting because of the online nature of the interaction. As teenagers gather online and on social media, they become easy targets of the problem.
While traditional bullying is limited to schools and known bullies, cyberbullying can occur anywhere during the day or night and can be perpetrated by anonymous sources. Cyberbullying can take place in public digital spaces such as social media posts, or it can take the form of private messages so that children can manage the secret and its effects themselves when they are alone. Online images and posts of harmful harassment can be received via text messages or phone calls, a study has found.
Cyberbullying is not new, but with every new technological advance, we encounter new problems with old problems. Cyberbullying, as it happens on the internet, revolves around technology, phones, and social media. Bullying can reach victims through groups, text messages, apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and online games and the possibilities are endless. In addition, various forms of cyberbullying can take place on different devices: social media, websites, forums, SMS, and mobile apps. These forms often overlap, as a bully can choose to use or combine multiple tactics to violate his target. For example, a tyrant might disclose private information to gain access to his own accounts.
Cyberbullying can be an isolating experience, especially if you are the first person ever to be informed about cyberbullying. Not everyone realizes they’ve been bullied until they’re bullied. Cyberbullying is possible when children use technology to interact online. Cyberbullying often begins when children have access to mobile phones or computers that they use to connect to social media, social sites, text messages, and group chats. Adults should discuss online behavior before cyberbullying, especially when children start using technology.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) defines cyberbullying as the use of the internet, mobile phones, video game systems, and other technologies to hurt or embarrass another person. Creating fake online profiles on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to mock people is one way to bully someone. One tactic of cyberbullying is to guess a target’s password for a social media page, app, or email account, then take the password and pretend to send or post harmful or embarrassing messages. Make sure your children use hard-to-guess passwords for their Internet-enabled accounts and never share a guessed password with anyone.
When you start a conversation about cyberbullying with your child or student, remember that bullying can be difficult for children to talk to adults about for many reasons. Cyberbullying is complicated because many students do not interpret common or hurtful behavior that occurs on their computers or mobile phones as bullying. Technology can help exacerbate the problem and create a place where it is more common, but bullying is at the root of relationships between people who interact in everyday life.
For the most part, cyberbullying goes unnoticed, but the younger generation can hide their bullying to prevent it from occurring or getting worse. Young people, especially when they spend a lot of time on social media, have their interactions – good, bad, and neutral – on apps, texts, games, and websites.
A 2016 review of several studies by the Cyberbullying Research Center estimated that, on average, 24% of middle and high school students fall victim to cyberbullying. A 2012 paper by the pioneering Bullying Researcher Dan Olweus reported that 440,000 surveyed US students in grades 3-12 were cyberbullied at least 45%. CDC reported that in 2015, 2.4% of middle school students were bullied online and 4.5% were bullied on school property.
As technology has evolved over the past twenty years, cyberbullying has become a bigger issue. The huge popularity of smartphones, various instant messaging apps, and the rise of social media has opened up more and more opportunities for cyberbullies to hurt their targets. Most adults who work in the school system do not understand how social networks and other channels for students can be used for online bullying and harassment.
If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, it is important to help them to take steps to end the agony. This could mean reporting cyberbullying to social media companies, school officials, or the police. Make sure you do everything in your power to put an end to the agony, including getting to know the laws around cyberbullying. While some states do not have specific laws against cyberbullying, perpetrators can be prosecuted under other existing laws. Many websites have blocking features that can, for example, help to reduce the frequency of bullying.
Online threats can mean anything from aggressive and rude texts and tweets to posts and messages that count. Publish personal information, images, or videos that are intended to hurt or embarrass someone. Cyberbullying can also include photos, messages, or pages that are not deleted when the person asks for something.