The majority of the population is oblivious to devastating effects of cyberbullying on human beings. Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, embarrass, threaten or target someone through social media. It instills a sense of insecurity, lack of self-belief and confidence in the person who suffers from this trauma. It takes place on digital devices like cell phones, laptops, computers and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through texts and several known social media platforms. Cyberbullying includes sharing private pictures, videos, text messages, and links. This is done to intentionally share negative, embarrassing and humiliating details of their personal lives and records. It is an offense which can have legal consequences and involves jail time.
Identifying the perpetrator
It is fairly easy to recognize a mean or cruel text on social media platforms. The perpetrator also impersonates the victim, revealing personal information, photos and videos. Offenders falsely impersonate victims to blackmail them or cause harm. Victims have reported finding fake accounts, web pages and online personas of themselves or someone they know. Teenagers often avoid reporting these events to their parents thus, leaving them oblivious to the situation as a whole. We can never truly know the magnitude of people that have been affected. A survey reports that 1 in 4 teens have been bullied at least once in their lifetime and 1 on 6 admitted about being a victim of cyberbullying.
Effects of cyberbullying on the victim:
Bullying is no more limited to the boundaries of playground, schoolyards, and classrooms anymore but has spread to another level, that is, the platform of internet.
- Severe bullying expose the victims to a greater risk of depression, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders.
- Kids start losing hope and turn to suicide.
- It has been found that bullying imposes a higher risk of suicidal thoughts in both in the bully and the victim.
- Leaves them mentally and emotionally impaired and scars them permanently.
- Shoots down their self-esteem, self-confidence, and hope for their betterment.
- Results in severe trust issues both in their personal and social lives.
- Lack the ability to respond positively and adopting changes. It also burns them with pessimistic outlooks towards everything online.
- Victims refrain from revealing their identity and details about themselves. They avoid meeting new people on social media and suffer insecurities.
- Withdrawal from human contact and avoiding technology as a whole.
- Observes change in sleep patterns, appetite, mental health, natural behavior. Victims experience short temper and mood swings.
How can we lend a hand for their betterment?
In conclusion, There are several effective ways to approach this sensitive situation. First of all, it is important talk to the person about their situation through a clam and gentle approach. As a result, this will enable them to break out of their shell. You can also share your personal experience with them to comfort them. This positively assures them that they’re not alone in this. Furthermore, you can comfort victims of abuse by-
- Letting them know that it’s not their fault and that it’s more related to the bully than the victim himself
- Praising them for the small success they achieve in their day and be supportive of them.
- Reviving their lost confidence.
- Reporting and talking to someone about the issue (principal of the school or teacher or any authority concerning the argument)
- Not responding to the bullying and cutting them off their social media by blocking them.
- Saving evidence like screenshots and storing them to file complaints when the victim receives threats from the bully.
You can, therefore, detect and help someone who is undergoing this traumatic experience and also report such cases.