CyberBullying a Modern form of Bullying
Cyberbullying, also known as online bullying, is a topic of concern these days and has increased a lot from the last 3 to 4 years and its major target are the children of the age group 10-18 years. People who are unaware of Cyberbullying is a form of bullying or harassment done using electronic means.
Like any other bullying cyberbullying also causes psychological, emotional and physical stress, victims also suffer from depression and even has suicidal thoughts.
Also looking at the top 3 countries which report maximum cyberbullying cases are India, Brazil and the United States.
Platform where most of the cyberbullying occur is Instagram(42%), Facebook(37%), Snapchat(31%), Twitter(10%), YouTube(10%) .
Two most common ways of how they were, bullied are either a nasty private message or a nasty comment on the post or profile.
Recent study conducted in 2020 stated that around 21% of children aged 10-18 years were cyber-bullied and what’s more, it is surprising that 56% of these cases were reported from January to July 2020.
when COVID-19 was on the rise worldwide.
During COVID-19 first and the second wave almost all the countries had imposed lockdown, which led to a minimum or no social gathering, people are alone and locked inside their homes and this gave rise to cyberbullying as people started spending more time on social media.
Also, cyberbullying which an individual faced during this period affected their mental health more as people had no one to talk to and someone with mental health problems needs others to have a conversation and got their mind relaxed.
The very first documented cyber-bullying case, reported in 2007 and when a 13-year-old girl Megan Meier died due to harassment on Facebook.
The harassment done by a group of neighbours, who made a fake profile and their purpose was to torment the young girl. Today also we see a lot of cyberbullies come from someone we know or had an argument with in the past and a study stated that 64 per cent of bullying comes from someone who they know.
Other than harassment cyberbullying often takes place in the form of
- Trickery and many more.
The most common form of cyberbullying seen is Harassment or Trolling and sometimes Doxing,
which means revealing someone’s personal or sensitive information online without their consent.
As stated earlier there is a rise in the number of cyberbullying cases this year(2021). let us have a look at some statistics that led to the rise of cyberbullying–
- Kids are the most likely to get into it and spend 20% more time on social media than normal, especially during the pandemic.
- Rise of more Social media platforms.
- In the last 2-3 years there is a rise in the number of social media platforms, which increases the chances of getting cyber-bullying.
Some more stats show that 38% of people on social media experience cyberbullying daily.
It is also important to look at how children react. when they get bullied online.
A study by Cyberbullying Research Center shows that –
- Teens who were bullied reacted differently, some felt angry, some got scared because of the threat given to them.
- the most shocking is, about 1/3rd hurt themselves.
- Around 2/3rd had a negative impact in future.
- Nearly 1/3rd got their friendship affectedclose to 12 per cent said it affected their physical health.
Above stated reasons are those where the victim suffered and was unable to take the proper action which led to a harmful impact on their life.
But some took the right step and prevented themselves from mental as well physical health.
- More than 35 % asked the bully to stop bullying them.
- Around 10 % had a conversation with their parents about the incident that happened.
- Also, nearly 35 % blocked all the ways of communication (Social media or One-on-one conversation) with the bully.
Only 30 % bullied did nothing and some of these hurt the bully in their life. It is also encouraging to see that 2/3 of the teens tried to help the individual who was getting bullied.
some even tried to help them multiple times.
All the data collected was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some did well to help themselves from getting bullied but others who had no idea of getting bullied and how to react to such bullies struggled a lot.
Let’s have a closer look at the most commonly used form of cyberbullying – Harassment :
This data is according to United States students and they say that mean comments accounts for 22 per cent, online rumours around 20 per cent and sexual remarks at 12%.
These are the most common ways an individual faces harassment online.
Having discussed the fats that lead to cyberbullying and the effects it has on the victims.
Let’s see what society and parents can do in order protect or help a person suffering from cyberbullying –
- It is important to establish an environment of communication with your child.
- psychologist recommended that to have a healthy conversation with your child.
- Parents must take initiative to go ask if their child is facing any bullying, do not wait for your child to come and tell you about any bullying faced.
- Make children aware of cyberbullying.
- Monitor online activity. This does not mean going and checking all the personal information but keeping a track of their social media activity. There are a lot of applications on Android and iPhone which track all the suspicious activity happening on that device.
- Create a community in school, friend circle etc. and make everyone aware of cyberbullying.
These were some major actions that a parent and society can do to prevent cyberbullying.
Now as a child what you should do to protect yourself from getting bullied.
- Educate yourself about cyberbullying. Search or ask people how and where it occurs.
- Always protect your passwords.
- Try to keep a different password for different social media so that hackers can nought hack your every social media easily.
- Pause before you post. Always think twice about how bullies can react to your post and what you can do to defend yourself.
- Google yourself. Search yourself every once in a while on a major search engine and check if there is any of your personal information available without your consent. If yes then take the needful action to get it removed as soon as possible.
- Block someone who is not known to you and try to bully you directly or indirectly, never engage with them, always ignore them or block them.
- Logout of your accounts from public computers. This is similar to sharing your password with strangers you don’t know what they may do from your accounts. Also by staying logged in on your device you increase the chance of getting bullied.
- Keep changing passwords if any suspicious activity is found from your accounts.
- Victims of cyberbullying can also take legal action as cyberbullying act India.
- Under section 66 E of IT Acts which states that any person who intentionally violates privacy by transmitting, capturing or publishing private pictures of others shall be punished with up to three years imprisonment or fine up to three lakhs.
If all these steps are followed and needful actions are taken
soon we will soon be a society with Zero or few cases of cyberbullying and
the mentality of everyone especially students will be perfect.
Soon we will see everyone happy and jolly-looking to make a positive impact on their lives and
make their future what they
once Dreamt of.