Bullying is not something that has just surfaced in recent years. It has been around for ages! Usually, bullying took place at school or neighborhoods. Now, it’s infinitely widespread through different social media platforms. With technology being an easy access to all youths, bullying has been taken to a new form-cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is defined as “[When] someone repeatedly and intentionally harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices.”
The internet is one of the most widespread risk that young kids face this day and age; cyberbullying being the most troubling. Cyberbullying has harmful effects to those who are being cyberbullied and to those who are cyberbullying. If you see or hear it happen and don’t report it, it’s just as bad as performing the action.
According to Cyberbullying Facts, cyberbullying is related to health problems such as low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, frustration, and a variety of other emotional and psychological problems.
Teens are most vulnerable to cyberbullying than any other age group due to their high usage of social media. According to Do Something, “Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for [cyberbullying].” There have been nearly 43% of kids bullied online. In some cases, cyberbullying doesn’t stop after the first incident. 1 in 4 kids have had it happen more than once.
In that 43% of teens who are bullied online, a small number (1 out of 10) will inform a trusted adult. Most victims are ashamed, scared, and full of emotions to inform their parents about the cyber attacks. For this reason, guardians should be more attentive in their child’s life, and should be checking their social media accounts and cellphone for any suspicious activity.
“Suicide remains among the leading causes of death of children under 14. In most cases, the young people die from hanging.”
As we all know, cyberbullying is highly connected with suicide– whether it is attempting or committing. A new study shows that 13 countries found signs of connection between bullying, being bullied, and suicide (Yale School of Medicine).
Repercussions for cyberbullying
Although there are no federal laws on cyberbullying, schools and universities are required to take action when there is persistent harassment. Some youths don’t think cyberbullying is an issue, but it can have some serious repercussions for the victim and bully.
Consequences of being a victim can include, but is not limited to:
- Abusing alcohol and drugs
- Missing and/or doing poorly in school
- Suffering from low self-esteem
- Developing physical and emotional health issues
- Committing suicide
Consequences of being the offender can include, but is not limited to:
- Juvenile facilities/Jail time
- Suspension/expulsion from school
- Violent/Criminal behavior later on in life
- Socially incompetent
How to reduce cyberbullying (Cyberbullying Statistics)
Keep your kids safe and out of harm!
- Talk to teens about cyberbullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences.
- Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyberbullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.
- Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow teens to have Internet access in their own rooms.
For more information on cyberbullying, and how to reduce cyberbullying, please visit the links below.
If you or anyone you know is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273 TALK (8255).
*The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.