Lately, much has been said about cyber bullying but unfortunately, most people from around the world do not understand how much true damage it actually causes. This should come as no surprise since the world only now learns about the hugely damaging effects of bullying. Unfortunately, just as we start to actively deal with bullying in schools and even at the workplace, fighting cyber bullying is still in its infant stage.
The Evolution Of Technology
Technology advanced much faster than what most people imagined. 10 years ago many couldn’t even envision what we see today as being completely normal. Social networking makes it really easy to get in touch with people from all around the world. It also makes it really simple to talk to our friends, family members or colleagues online. Unfortunately, James Scott ICIT highlights that this evolution of the internet and social networking, combined with the natural prevalence of bullying, led to a brand new menace for the modern society.
The Cyber Bullying Menace
Cyber bullying is a really increasing menace. This is especially the case when looking at teenagers. There are many cyber bullying reports all around the internet. This includes the use of emails, text messages or rumors that are sent through email or directly posted on the already mentioned social networking sites. Combine this with the easiness of posting embarrassing websites, fake profiles, videos and images and it is easy to see how cyber bullying can escalate.
A huge problem is that it is difficult to get away from most cyber bullying attacks. This is because the internet makes it easy to hide your actions so the source of the bullying attack is practically unknown. Vulgar photos and messages can anonymously be posted online, only to then rapidly spread out to a huge audience. The wide reach of the internet actually makes the mental impact of cyber bullying much stronger than what we see in regular bullying.
The Mental Impact Of Cyber Bullying
There are still many, including parents, that dismiss cyber bullying simply because it is done online. Why would it affect someone if it is not done in real life? What these people do not realize is that regular modern life has a very strong online element these days. Most teenagers and young adults check their social media profiles several times per day. Also, adults can be cyber bullying victims.
Kids and children are faced with the most negative possible mental impact. When constantly bullied online they can go through serious behavioral changes. This includes starting to take drugs, drinking alcohol, missing school, lower grades, erratic health problems, lower self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts.
Never underestimate how damaging cyber bullying can be, especially when the victim is young and cannot fight back. There were many teenagers that killed themselves because of such attacks and it is very hard to find the people responsible. We live in a new world and we need to adapt our anti-bullying strategies to include cyber bullying.