Everything You Need To Know About Cyberbullying
Bullying takes many shapes, and cyberbullying is one of them. Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior that is used to exert control or power over someone. Its effects are psychological and emotional and, in some cases, can lead to physical and financial abuse as well.
Social media usage has increased and we’re now seeing young children using technology more than any other generation. Parents, who are often tasked with controlling usage, find themselves in a difficult situation of enforcing healthy social media usage with no experience to fall back on.
Differences Between Bullying and Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying on social media is more common than we’d like to admit. Cyberbullying is an umbrella term that has different forms of online harassment falling under it. Stalking in real life and cyberbullying are some factors that can cause individuals to be more careful about what they post on social media. In some countries, for instance, you can receive extreme convictions from posting online.
The main difference between bullying and cyberbullying is the difference in methods; bullying is conducted in person, while cyberbullying takes place online. Any form of harassment conducted online falls under the cyberbullying term.
According to Stopbullying.gov, a US Government website to stop online harassment, Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.
Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, or false content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
Children without knowing it can easily become bullied or become the bullies themselves. Anonymity gives users the freedom to adopt an alternate or aggressive side that they might not reveal to parents or friends in real life. The same is true about adults who bully. Governments, companies and anyone with authority over another can be at risk for hurting the freedom of others.
Negative Effects of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. Whether a single person or a business is targeted, it can have negative effects, potentially leading to negative consequences. According to verywellhealth.com, some negative effects on mental health are:
- Induced Stress
In countries where cyberbullying is commonplace, people lose their ability to freely express basic desires. Cyberbullying is dangerous at any age, particularly in young minds, we’re seeing a growing pandemic of cyberbullying on social media platforms. Popular platforms have since introduced new features to combat this negative behaviour, but root of the problem isn’t directly impacted. Conversations around cyberbullying are becoming more frequent, which helps normalise the discussion and is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
If we want to eradicate cyberbullying and bullying, we must end it from the core. This can be done by handling situations smartly. You can follow a few steps to save yourself from cyberbullying on social media. Luckily, there is a growing movement of support for cyberbullying victims and it’s readily available online. Companies, schools and institutions are introducing more anti-cyberbullying initiatives to tackle the problem.