Cyberbullying is also commonly known as cyberharassment. As the name suggests, cyberbullying can be defined as a form of harassment or bullying that takes place by some sort of electronic means or through the internet. This form of bullying or harassment is also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common amongst both adolescents and young children. When it comes to cyberbullying then there is usually an individual involved who bully or harass someone over the internet. This is done commonly on social media sites and by teenagers. However, this does not mean that individuals of other age groups do not cyberbully someone else or are not the victim of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can consist of a range of harmful behaviors and some of those harmful behaviors can be sexual remarks, rumors, threats, using hate speech, leaking an individual’s personal information, and many other types of behaviors. When it comes to cyberbullying then there is always intent to harm which is involved and this can have many negative consequences for the victim. This is why it is important for an individual to know about the strategies for dealing with cyberbullying.
An Introduction to Cyberbullying
As it was mentioned above, cyberbullying is a type of harassment or bullying which is done over the internet or through some sort of electronic means. Cyberbullying is also known by many other names including online bullying and cyberharassment. According to some of the recent reports and studies, it can easily be stated that the instances of cyberbullying have increased tremendously since the last few years. Cyberbullying often includes two parties in which one of the parties is the indulging in harmful behavior and the other is the victim. The most common types of harmful behaviors which individuals indulge in when it comes to cyberbullying are spreading rumors, making sexual remarks, making threats, using hate speech, or spreading the personal information of an individual online.
There are also many different types of cyberbullying. However, the most common types of cyberbullying are mentioned below.
According to many experts, trolling or internet trolling can be defined as the kind of behavior in which an individual tries to purposefully offend or provoke somebody else to get a response. It is important for an individual to remember that trolling might not always be counted as cyberbullying as it can sometimes just be a little mischief over the internet. However, it is important for an individual to remember that this little mischief should be accepted by both the parties and must not harm any of the individuals involved.
This is another form of cyber harassment in which an individual uses different types of electronic means to stalk somebody else. In this digital age, every individual share so much of their information online it is becoming easier to get personal information over the internet. This is certainly quite harmful and it is important for an individual to exercise proper control when it comes to what should be shared online and what should not be shared online.
Cyberbullying always consists of a sort of behavior can have many negative consequences on the overall physical and psychological health of an individual. Hence, it is important for individuals to seek out help or deal with cyberbullying effectively at the right time.
The Effects of Cyberbullying
Before moving ahead to discuss the strategies which one can use to deal with cyberbullying, it is important for an individual to learn about the different negative effects of cyberbullying. Some of those negative effects of cyberbullying are mentioned below.
- An individual can suffer from low self-esteem
- One might end up becoming withdrawn from both family and friends
- An individual might also show reluctance to let anybody else come near them and use their electronic devices
- An individual might come up with different excuses for avoiding school or work
- One might exclude friends out of various social events
- One might try to change his or her appearance drastically to fit in
- An individual might also suffer from various psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, or the different eating disorders
- One can indulge in self-harm
The Strategies for Dealing with Cyberbullying
It must be quite clear now that cyberbullying should not be taken lightly as it can have many negative effects on the overall physical and psychological health of an individual. This is why it is important for an individual to be aware of the different strategies which one can apply to effectively deal with cyberbullying. And some of those strategies are mentioned below.
- Learn to Reach Out
The world that we all live in cannot function without technology. This is why it is important for all individuals to be connected to some sort of technology or other. However, this also means that every individual is at the risk of being bullied online. This is why it is important for an individual to be acutely aware of such instances and learn to reach out if the situation is getting a little difficult to handle. This is especially true for adolescents and young children. If one is being bullied online then it is important to bring in the adults and get the right kind of help.
- Attempt to Disengage
The main aim of many online bullies is to get some sort of response from the other individual or the victim. This is why it is important to first remember not to engage in cyberbullying at all. Even if one comes across a situation where he or she might be getting bullied then it is important for that individual to not provide the bully with a response.
- Use Resources and Block
Most instances of online bullying take place on some sort of social media platform. And thankfully, social media platforms now realize how disastrous bullying can actually be. This is why many social media platforms have set up various resources which one can use to stop bullying at a personal level. One such resource is to block the bully. This will prevent the bully from contacting the victim again.
- Set Up Proper Privacy Settings
As it was mentioned above, social media platforms are taking an active approach to deal with bullies. And this is why there are many privacy settings available online which users can use to protect themselves against such attacks or leaking of information. It is important for an individual to be aware of such settings and use it to their advantage.
- Collect Evidence by Taking Screenshots
This particular strategy is especially important if somebody who is bullying you knows you personally in the real world. It is important to take screenshots of those instances where the bully might be attacking the other individual. This will ensure that the bully cannot deny his or her actions in front of the parental or organizational authority later.
- Make a Move to Report It
Another important step which one can take to effectively deal with cyberbullying is to report the bully to the right authorities online. This will ensure that the bully understands that what he or she did was wrong and can have severe consequences for him or her.
Cyberbullying or online harassment can be defined as a type of harassment or bullying which takes place over the internet and with the help of some sort of electronic means. Cyberbullying can have many negative effects on the overall health and life of an individual. Hence, it is important for an individual to be aware of the different strategies which one can apply to deal with cyberbullying. And some of those strategies are reaching out to the adults, blocking the bully, setting up proper privacy settings, and reporting the bully.