In 2017, the National Crime Prevention Council suggested as many as 43% of children have experienced cyberbullying in one form or another. It’s an absolutely staggering statistic when you take into account that 1 in 3 internet users in the United Kingdom are children. It outlines a serious problem with how this sort of behaviour is being tackled.
What is cyberbullying?
Very simply, cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, embarrass or to threaten another person, this can come in many different shapes and sizes with many different levels of severity, including:
- Threats of physical violence
- Exclusion from friend groups
- Creation of fake profiles
- Posting of unflattering content without the victim’s consent
- Posting of cruel information and spreading it to damage the victim’s relationship with friends.
- Catfishing, the bully will create a fake profile of the victim in order to post content in their name for deceptive purposes.
The consequences of cyberbullying on victims.
Cyberbullying has been linked with a range of neuroses (depression, anxiety, etc), additionally, the NCPC (National Crime Prevention Council) reported that only 11% of teens talked to their parents about incidents of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying may affect how your child performs at school, you may see a drop in grades or punctuality.
A study showed that 64% of bullied children believe the bullying has been a direct cause of their academic records being harmed.
Telltale signs of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is far from being untraceable so here are some signs that could possibly indicate a friend or loved one is being harassed or picked on online.
- Being quiet or upset after the use of a phone or any other device
- Being emotionally drained
- Not wanting to go to school
- Being secretive or overprotective of their devices
- Sudden withdrawal of the use of social media of any kind.
- Low self-esteem
How to fight Cyberbullying.
If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied, here are some steps you can take to prevent it.
- Report and block whoever is bullying you
- Be sure to save the evidence
- Do not like or share unkind comments or images of other people, you’re helping the bullies if you do this.
- Talk to someone you trust if you or someone you know is getting cyberbullied
- If serious enough, you can go to the police and it will be dealt with accordingly
- Report the bullying to online watchdogs
The reasons behind it all.
Another study by the NCPC stated that 81% of youths said others cyberbully because they think it’s “funny”.
Many do not recognize the negative impacts cyberbullying has on the victim and many just see it as “harmless fun” when in reality that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Most teens that partake in cyberbullying are often encouraged by friends in the background and continually motivated by others.
Some children bully because they feel powerless at home, they resort to exerting this power on others at school or online due to issues in their personal life. Children aren’t born bullies, something has to happen in their life for them to be how they are, many people see the victims of bullying as the main victim, not realising that the bully may need the same amount of help as their victim.