Cyber bullying is the new form of the old problem, which is now armed by modern communication technology. Online bullying is plaguing tweens and teens.
The school pranks when exchanged with wide variety of audience through online communication do not remain children’s innocent pranks, but they take the form of vicious harassment which has severe psychosocial consequences on the victim and the family.
Cyber bullies are accomplished teenagers who are bully by nature and are usually from an affluent family, endowed with the knowledge and the free access to the latest communication gadgets:
I-phones, internet and computer.
The threatening messages and abusive language are then not limited to the times when the bully and victim happen to cross each other’s path, but they reach the victim all the time and everywhere - including during his/her personal moments in the privacy of home.
The victim is continuously bombarded by unpleasant threatening messages, vicious forum posts, name calling in chat rooms and fake profiles posted on web sites.
Cyber bullying is a major cause of severe teenage depression.
It traumatizes the tweens and teens emotionally, socially and psychologically, with no healing time aloud to recover from the trauma inflicted.
Temperament of children who bully is often impulsive, hot headed and dominating. Their aggressive nature blocks out their ability to understand others emotional experiences.
In spite of continuous aggression, unfortunately the bully
fails to appreciate the effects of cyber bullying on the victim.
The bully does not achieve the desired gratification and online bullying continues till the most obvious hits the victim – psychosis, nervous breakdown, depression or attempted suicide.
Bulling is abuse of power with the intention to harass any person or group and cyber implements when the harassment is inflicted through internet use.
This implies that both the harasser and the victim are partaking social media web sites including social networking sites, gaming sites, video sites and blogs. These sites are portal for entertainment and communication and are the great favorites of young children in the present times.
Social power is abused by sending direct threat, uploading of altered pictures or by posting belittling comments.
Some people may even crack victim’s password and send impersonated mails with intention of defaming the victim among his/her contacts.
Girl-bullies are usually involved in relational aggression form of cyber bullying, that is they target to harm by damaging, or threatening to damage their victim’s relationships among the peers.
Harassing by proxy is an extreme form of bullying in which the bully uses unknown online contacts (for example – from chat room) who are total strangers to the victim.
As a result, the victim is bombarded with hundreds of vicious messages from entirely unknown individuals scattered around the world. This leaves the victim bewildered and psychologically traumatized.
Cyber bullies do not give their victim a fair chance to fight back. Like cowards they hide behind the anonymity of online identity.
The web technology protects the harasser from being easily identified by the law enforcing authorities and thus often evade punishment.
Both boys and girls are involved in bullying and also get bullied. Nevertheless, boys are reported to be more involved in bullying both girls and boys.
It is often observed that those who get bullied have tried bullying others but have ended up being victims themselves.
This is because, the children who fall prey to cyber bulling usually are of quiet and sensitive temperament with low self-esteem, but wish to be accepted “in the crowd”.
Children do not report about the bullying.
They try to handle it all by themselves. They also think that telling the parents about bullying would be like “tell on” friends.
Any change in child’s behavior should be a cause for alarm.
Mark the common signs:
Media education and awareness on cyber bullying are the only ways to prevent our children from getting traumatized by online harassment. Both the parents and the children should remain updated on the advancements in web technology.
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Who does cyber bullying?
How is cyber bullying done?
Abuse of social power
Anonymity of online identity
How to combat cyber bullying?
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Gravity of the problem
Prohibition?-Not the answer
Bright side of social media
Prevention of Facebook depression