Cyberbullying pertains to bullying that takes place online through the use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. Cyberbullying can occur in text messages, online forums, chatrooms, or instant messaging. With the prevalence of social media, more and more strangers have access to other people’s photos, videos, and other forms of personal content shared online.
In recent years, plenty of cyberbullying cases have been reported. In fact, a recent study shows that found that a majority of teens (59%) experienced some form of cyberbullying. The increase of cyberbullying incidents only proves the need for awareness and actions necessary towards eradicating this issue.
Here are some facts that you need to know about cyberbullying:
What constitutes cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying includes repetitive and persistent sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.
What are the most specific types of cyberbullying?
According to the study mentioned earlier, the most common types of cyberbullying that teens experience include offensive name-calling, which makes up 42%, and the spreading of false rumors, at 32%. The same study reports that 6% of U.S. teens experienced physical threats, and 7% of them had explicit images shared without their consent.
How does cyberbullying affect victims?
There are many adverse impacts that stem from being a victim of cyberbullying. There had been several reports of teenagers, and sometimes, even adults, who experienced cyberbullying, where the victims developed mental and emotional conditions. Some victims, unfortunately, went so far as to end their own lives. Cyberbullying is a serious issue that needs to be abolished.
Are there laws for cyberbullying?
Yes. As a matter of fact, several states in the USA, as well as other nations, have passed laws that require schools to address the existence of bullying and any cyberbullying in their respective institutions.
How can we stop cyberbullying?
While stopping cyberbullying is a shot in the dark, there are still measures that can be done to help prevent dreadful outcomes concerning the issue.
If you are being cyberbullied:
Remember that it is not your fault. Do not blame yourself for whatever your bully is saying or doing against you.
Save your evidence. It is best if you collect proof of the incident when the situation gets escalated.
Do not respond or retaliate. You may tell the person to stop harassing you online. This is completely up to you – don’t do it if you don’t feel totally comfortable doing it, because you need to make your position completely clear that you will not stand for this treatment anymore.
Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to someone who you trust and who will listen to you.
If someone you know is being bullied, take action.
Just standing by can empower an aggressor and does nothing to help. The best thing you can do is try to stop the bullying by taking a stand against it. If you can’t stop it, support the person being bullied. Sometimes, all they need is someone who they can trust and open up to. Check out how to report cyberbullying.