What is Cyber Bullying?
As you’re probably already aware, cyber-bullying is any form of bullying that uses the digital communication tools. Examples of cyber-bullying may range simply ignoring to threatening via common means like hateful texts, spreading mean rumors online and posting embarrassing photos or video on social media without consent. It can can happen at any place and at any time in both a private or a public manner. Enhanced use of digital devices such as smartphones or tablets with always online factor has further added to the complexity of this concern. Cyber-bullying is considered to be a serious problem and more so because it has the inherent privilege of the associated anonymity.
How Cyber Bullying Works ?
Cyber-bullying rides on the highly popular social media platforms and instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, these social platforms are a reflection of our state-of-art lives and an easy way to stay connected with our closed ones, family, friends and others. However at times strong relationships with strangers also develop over time via these social networks; yeah, you read it right, with people we’ve actually never even met in person.
Its important to understand here that, technology can have the unwanted effects also and this is so true with the social media platforms. If one wants to draw negative attention against a target, they simply can misuse the technology to share sensitive information, usually with harmful impacts across the network or individually.
Some forms of cyber-bullying include:
- Sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages and being abusive
- Sending fake and damaging information about someone
- Intentionally leaving someone out of group conversations such as group messages and online apps
What to do if you are a victim of cyber-bullying ?
- Parental involvement can significantly reduce cyber bullying attempts with understanding, advice and support
- Awareness campaigns for different target groups need to be conducted for parents/teachers/children
- If someone is being cyber-bullied, he/she should keep all evidence of cyber-bullying, keep a log with the dates and times of the instances, and report the instance. Screen shots are an effective way of capturing evidence.
- Consult and coach the victim and the person bullying him (if known) and look for improvements.
- Think before you post anything online because once it’s out there it cant be taken back.