What Causes Cyberbullying – How To Deal with It

What causes Cyber bullying

How Do You Deal with Cyberbullying?

Defining Cyberbullying: What Exactly is it? This is a form of bullying that is done through digital means or online bullying. It may include messaging platforms, gaming platforms, or social media platforms. What causes Cyberbullying, and how do you deal with it?

The term bully is often used to describe an individual who seeks to intimidate or harm those who he or she feels as vulnerable.

Here the victim receives threats, or shaming messages.

While the causes and effects of cyberbullying can traumatize the victim, it does leave a digital footprint that can be used to help stop and prevent it in the future.

But Why do People Cyberbully?

Oftentimes, people cyberbully because they themselves have low self-esteem and want to find a way to feel powerful.  There is no difference in the effects on the victim between cyberbullying and the bullying that happens in person.

Cyberbullies may feel invisible as they are hiding behind a screen and may feel like no one will find out their identity, which could lead them to do things they would not do in person. People could cyber bully because of the following reasons;

  • It makes them feel powerful
  • Makes them feel funny
  • Gives them a way to deal with their low self-esteem
  • They are not empathetic
  • They may use it as a way to stay popular
  • Because of peer pressure

Is Cyberbullying Happening to You?

When you are around your group of friends, it is normal to have a joking moment. However, if the joking goes too far and you request that it stops, but it continues, then this could be a form of bullying.

When this type of joking that is hurtful takes place online, then it can gather unwanted attention. People in the crowd may also partake, which only aggravates the situation.

It is for this reason that kids who have access to the internet should be educated about the types of bullying, so they can recognize it when it happens to them.

This is when it can be thought of as cyberbullying. Whether someone is online or in real life, people deserve respect no matter what their social status might be.

The Causes and Effects of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can make you feel as though you have no safe space.

Cyberbullies may be spreading rumors about you, which would leave you feeling embarrassed even when you go home. You may also feel stupid and helpless.

Often cyberbullying will affect one mentally. With feelings of anger and even upset. It can also have physical effects where the victim experiences a lack of sleep, headaches, and stomach aches.

There is no denying the fact that feeling laughed at and feeling harassed by others can prevent someone from dealing with the problem of speaking about it.

So, in case you wonder why is cyberbullying a problem? In the most extreme cases, bullying can result in victims committing suicide.

You are being Cyberbullied; What do You Do?

If you think that you are experiencing cyberbullying, it is best to confide in someone you can trust. The best people to confide in are usually family members or close friends.

If you are a student and are in school, then you can reach out to your counselor.

Sometimes, however, you may not be comfortable speaking to someone who already knows you. One option is to find a helpline in your city or country and make a report.

Making a report may also help others by taking action against the bully.

Involving Your Parents

Tell someone when you experience cyberbullying. A good place to start is by talking to your parents.

But what happens if you don’t find it easy to talk to your parents? The good thing is that there are a few things and steps that you can follow to enable you to talk to your parents.

  • Start by explaining to them the situation, how it bothers you, and how serious it is to you. Keep in mind that your parents may not be as familiar with social media and digital technology as you are.
  • Take the time to slowly and carefully explain to them what is going on.
  • Granted, they may not have the best understanding, but they will have the need to help you deal with the situation. And this goes a long way. If you still find it hard to tell your parents about it, you can try reaching out to other people that you can trust.
  • You will often find that many people care about you and are willing to help see you through.

 Preventing Cyberbullying Without Leaving social media

There are plenty of benefits to being online, and for many, a world without the internet is unimaginable. However, the downside to this is that the internet is not free of perpetrators. It is possible to become a victim of cyberbullying.

Naturally, cyberbullying may cause you to want to delete apps. This is not a long-term viable solution. What’s more, you should never give bullies the satisfaction of watching you leave. You didn’t do anything wrong so you shouldn’t leave.

Take care when posting or commenting on social media, so that you’re not subject to cyberbullying. Be considerate of other people\’s opinions and feelings and respect others by not hurting them.

Whether it is online or in real life, we need to all be kind to others.

How to Help a Friend Who is Experiences Cyberbullying

Keep in mind that cyberbullying can affect anyone.  If you have a friend dealing with cyberbullying, offer to help and support them.

Let them know that you will be there for them and will not leave their side. Having taken the time to listen and assured them of your support, let them understand that it is important to talk to someone and to find a solution to the problem.

Keep on reminding them that you are willing to be by their side even as they report the situation to someone who could help. Also, always assure them that you want to help.

You can even go a step further by explaining the causes of cyberbullying to them, so you assure them that it is not their fault.

Your support may be all the encouragement that they need. Without it, your friend may feel like they are all alone and that nobody cares about them.

 Make sure that you collect evidence. Take screenshots and save text messages. You can use this to file a report against the perpetrator.

Protecting your Personal Information from Wrongful use by Others Online

It is important before you post or share anything online, that you take the time to think about what and why you are doing this. Your information may remain online forever. And it is this information that could be used against you.

Never share sensitive information such as phone numbers, email contacts, school names, or even your home address.

Learn and utilize the privacy settings on your chosen social media platform. Some of the general privacy options that you can use include:

  • Decide who can see your images online as well as who can send you messages.
  • Hide spots from certain people
  • You can block people
  • Report harmful or suspicious behavior and request removal

 Internet Companies on Cyberbullying

Every year there are more cases of cyberbullying. Nowadays, internet companies are placing more emphasis on security and privacy features to help combat cyberbullying.

In severe cases, those affected have even resorted to taking their own lives.

That said, it is only by holding internet companies accountable when they do not live up to their required standards that we can begin to see real improvements.

Anti-Cyberbullying Tools for Children and Young Individuals

What Causes Cyberbullying
What Causes Cyberbullying

Different social media platforms have different tools which users can use to improve security when online. There are tools to help restrict who can see and comment on your posts, who can comment as a friend, and even reporting cases of abuse and cyberbullying.

It is important that before you create an account with a social media platform, you take the time to understand these tools.

It is also important that children be taught about cyberbullying and what causes it so that they can know when to use these anti-cyberbullying tools.

For instance, Facebook or Instagram will send you a notification in case you are about to post something which could be problematic and would cross certain lines. This will help you reconsider and thus prevent or avoid cyberbullying.

You can also modify settings allowing only people you follow to send you messages.

Why Cyberbullying is a Problem

Of the young people on social media aged 12 to 27 years, 37% of them say they have been bullied online. It has happened more than once to 30% of these young people.

Only about 10% of young people who are cyberbullied tell their parents.,

Girls on social media are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying than boys. Up to 15% of teenage girls and 6% of teenage boys experience cyberbullying.

About 50% of LGBTQ have experienced one form of cyberbullying or another. This is the highest rate of cyberbullying in any demographic.

Cyberbullying that happens to young people puts them at a higher risk of committing self-harm and suicide.

Up to 23% of students claim to have said something mean and abusive to someone online. Up to 27% of students claim to have experienced reporting from someone else.

83% of young online users believe that social media companies can do more to prevent and control cyberbullying.

A large number (85%) of students say that they would actively take part in cyberbully prevention if that means that they would do so anonymously

The Different Types of Cyberbullying

Just as there are different types of bullying; Cyberbullying can come in many shapes or forms. The main ones include:

  • Disparaging – this is the sending of messages or posts that are specifically meant to target someone. They could target based on ethnicity, race, gender identity, religion, and sexual orientation.
  • Cyberstalking – continuously harassing a sure even on different social media platforms and even offering threats.
  • Exclusion – This is deliberately leaving a member of a group chat or game out of the group.
  • Flaming – this is where the victim experiences name-calling, and online fights.
  • Outing – exposing someone’s private information and secrets online.
  • Impersonation – This can also be referred to as catfishing. It is when someone pretends to be something that they are not to get something that they want.
  • Trickery – someone is tricked into giving private information and ten exposing this information.
  • Harassment – sending hurtful and malicious messages repeatedly.

A few Special Concerns

There are a few things about the internet and social media that make it the perfect place for cyberbullying.

First off is the persistence issue. With digital platforms, there is the ability to communicate 24 hours a day. Because of this, it can get hard for victims of cyberbullying to experience relief.

Then there is a permanence issue as most information that finds its way on social media and the internet remains permanent. That is if it is not reported.

Because parents and teachers are less likely of noticing cyberbullying, it can be hard to notice when your child or student is a victim of cyberbullying, and it is especially important that we educated our children about what cyberbullying is and what causes it.

Available Repercussions of Cyberbullying

What Causes Cyberbullying
How to deal with Cyberbullying

The different types of punishments available for cyberbullying may depend on the setting. First, if you are a student in high school, middle school, or any grade, you can start by reporting to your school administration. Most schools will not tolerate any kind of bullying and will often take serious action against those responsible.

Keep in mind that you also have a right to justice and can take the matter to court.

Final Thought

In countries that have already set laws against cyberbullying, it is often treated as a criminal activity and the court may even order that the person be prohibited from a specific location.

They may also order that the one responsible is restricted in the use of electronic devices, either temporarily or permanently.

Keep educating kids about cyberbullying what its causes and how/who they can report it if it ever happened to them. Let them know that cyberbullying is a big deal and should be taken seriously.

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