How Cyberbullying Affects Children
Advances in technology are bringing change in the way children interact with one another. It used to be that bullying was confined to the schoolyard, but today kids can use the internet and mobile phones to bully one another in the form of cyberbullying. This new form of bullying can be as damaging as conventional bullying and can even have criminal consequences.
Cyberbullying occurs when a child or adolescent is harassed, intimidated, embarrassed, or otherwise abused through the Internet, mobile phone, or other digital communication devices. Cyberbullying should be taken seriously as it can be so harmful and even criminal.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Cyberbullying Is Cruel
Cyberbullying may include posting cruel, obscene, or degrading comments online, sending a person’s humiliating images via email or text message, or other mean-spirited acts committed against one another. Since the cyberbullying possibilities are infinite, cyberbullying cases can become very serious. Suicide and murder cases relating to cyberbullying as well as physical and emotional harm have been identified.
Often cyberbullying is a repeated offence and is usually not a one-time occurrence. Cyberbullying victims are often continuously abused and tormented, and the ease with which information is shared over the internet and by cell phones makes cyberbullying actions easy to commit. Children may use the internet or a cell phone to find various ways of ridiculing, threatening or belittling others. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, cyberbullying can be punished as a crime. If information or passwords have been compromised or threats made, under the law, children can be charged as delinquents.
Help Stop Cyberbullying
Do not be afraid in the case of cyberbullying to investigate the rights of your child, sometimes it is the only way to make it stop and give the message that cyberbullying will not be tolerated towards other children.
Cyberbullying that happens off school grounds is commonly considered out of the school’s control and administrators can do very little to nothing to avoid it. While schools strive to do their best to stop and discourage bullying, detecting cyberbullying often falls under the radar and may not be detected.
Parents play a vital role in combating cyberbullying, and the best way to do so is to closely track children’s online and mobile phone behaviour. If you find your child has unexplained issues, do not assume it is a natural part of growing up. If your child hesitates to use the computer, they might be exposed to cyberbullying and you should investigate to make sure they have not been exposed to being harmed.
Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only. This information is not advice and should not be treated as professional advice. You must not rely on the information in this blog as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider.
“What To Do If You’re Being Bullied”. 2017. Kids Helpline. https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/bullying.
“Get Help Now”. 2019. Stopbullying.Gov. https://www.stopbullying.gov/resources/get-help-now.
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