Cyberbullying and Students

In today’s world, cyberbullying cases are common. Many students are negatively affected by it. Let us learn about it and know to stop it.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Unlike the normal face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.

Cyberstalking is a form of online harassment in which the perpetrator uses electronic communications to stalk a victim. This is considered more dangerous than other forms of cyberbullying because it generally involves a credible threat to the victim’s safety. 

Internet trolls intentionally try to provoke or offend others in order to elicit a reaction. Trolls and cyberbullies do not always have the same goals: while some trolls engage in cyberbullying, others may be engaged in comparatively harmless mischief. 

Effects of cyberbullying

When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways:

  • Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry 
  • Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love
  • Physically — tired (loss of sleep), or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches 

The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others, can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.

Fighting cyberbullying 

If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. In your school you can reach out to a counsellor or your favourite teacher. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search for a helpline in your country to talk to a professional counsellor.

For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key. It can also help to show the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. 

  • Think twice before posting or sharing anything online – it may stay online forever and could be used to harm you later. 
  • Don’t give out personal details such as your address, telephone number or the name of your school.
  • You can decide who can see your social media profile, send you direct messages or comment on your posts by adjusting your account privacy settings. 
  • Besides ‘unfriending’, you can completely block people to stop them from seeing your profile or contacting you.
  • You can also choose to have comments by certain people to appear only to them without completely blocking them.
  • You can delete posts on your profile or hide them from specific people.