New Delhi, May 8, 2021: In today’s world which has been made smaller by technology, new age problems have been born. No doubt technology has a lot of benefits, however, it also comes with a negative side. It has given birth to cyberbullying.
What is cyberbullying?
In simple terms cyberbullying refer to the use of digital-communication tools (such as the Internet and cell phones) to make another person feel angry, sad, or scared, usually again and again. Cyberbullying was first used in 1998.
There is no single definition of bullying and cyberbullying agreed upon internationally. But to make you understand we can define cyberbullying as the phenomenon of repeated harm or embracement inflicted through the use of electronic devices such as computers or mobile phones.
People generally engage in cyber bullying by using electronic devices by sending sexual remarks, hate speech or to gang up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as facts aimed at humiliation.
Cyberbullying is “dangerous”
Cyberbullying is a multi-faced issue.
However, the intention of this activity is one and the same. To hurt people and bring them harm. Cyberbullying is not a light matter.
The victim who suffers cyberbullying in the form of harassing starts having self-doubt, it disturbs the peace of mind of a person.
Cyberbullying also tarnishes the image of a person. It hampers their reputation with the false rumours spread about them.
Everything on social media spreads like wildfire. Moreover, people often question the credibility. Thus, one false rumour destroys people’s lives.
According to the School Crime Supplement from the National Centre for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, 28 percent of all students from grades six to twelve have experienced some kind of bullying.
Stopbullying.gov notes that about 30 percent of students have bullied others in some way or form during their lifetime. A survey from the World Health Organization reports that compared to 35 other countries in the Americas and Europe, the US experiences an average amount of bullying.
Across various age groups, Estonia and Lithuania rank highest for both bullying and victimization, while the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Sweden report the lowest rates.
The Cyberbullying Research Centre reports that in 2016, about 34 percent of students had been a victim of cyberbullying at some time in their lives.
The same report from 2016 notes that girls were somewhat more likely to be a victim of cyberbullying than boys: 36.7 percent of adolescent girls had experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives, compared to 30.5 percent of adolescent boys.
The Cyberbullying Research Centre also found that about 16 percent of students had cyberbullied others at some point in their lifetime.
Signs and symptoms
- Anxiety or Anger: Pay attention to your teenager’s mood both during and after they use a mobile phone or computer
- Secretive: Has your teen become secretive or defensive about their online activities? If they unexpectedly shut off devices when others approach, they may be attempting to hide the fact that they are being bullied.
- Avoiding technology: Take note of the frequency of the amount of time your teen spends online, especially if they have always enjoyed it.
- Becoming withdrawn: Even if your teenager has always been quiet or introverted, observe their social behaviour.
- Increase in messages: Has your teen started to receive a lot more messages or emails than they usually do?
- Depression: Has your teen’s mood changed? Do they often seem sad or depressed? Has there been a drastic change to their eating or sleeping patterns?
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
- Make a password that is difficult to predict.
- Don’t post any private data
- Never discuss personal matters on social media (keep the information limited within your group of friends and family)
- Avoid deleting cyberbullying messages.
- Don’t interview anyone you know via the internet
- Be careful! Don’t send any electronic message when you are angry.
- Inform your parents with what annoy you when you use the internet.
A victim of cyberbullying can do the following things to save herself/himself.
- You can conveniently launch an official complaint against your cyberbully on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal by contacting National Cyber Crime’s helpline number.
- Report the account/ group on the social media platform, immediately.
- Don’t shut yourself out or bottle up your emotions, talk about it. Inform your friends and family about the incident and keep them in the loop.
- Save the evidence, record the date, time, and description of the incidents in the form of screenshots.
- To be on the safer side, change your passwords.