What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is harassment through the use of computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Why it matters ?
Nothing crushes your self-confidence faster than humiliation. And just imagine what the impact would be of a humiliating message sent instantly to everyone you know. Sadly, hurtful information posted on the Internet is extremely difficult to prevent or remove, and millions of people can see it. Most cyberbullying happens when adults aren’t around, so parents and teachers often see only the depression or anxiety that results from being hurt or bullied. This emotional damage can last a lifetime. (Source: Commonsense Media)
Why is cyberbullying dangerous?
* Amplification: Online material can be taken out of context and shared broadly, which amplifies the impact that bullying has on an individual.
* Perceived anonymity: People, and children are no exception, tend to be more cruel and spread gossip more quickly if they think they are anonymous and they won’t suffer consequences.
* Lack of connection: The anonymity that digital media offers compounds the issue, since actions are often separate from consequences.
* Impulsive Decisions: Taking time to think critically and reflect on what’s being said is difficult for younger children and teenagers.
* Connection to sexting: Cyberbullying gets more complicated when combined with sexting (sending explicit photos).
* Teenage suicide: Cyberbullying can, and has, led to teenage suicide.
What can I do about cyberbullying?
* Think before you post. Once you post something online, it’s impossible to take it back. Images, text and videos can be copied and reposted over and over without you knowing. So even if only your friends can see what you post, that content could end up anywhere on the Web, which makes it practically impossible to remove.
* Don’t tolerate harassment. If people bully or harass you online, report them to the hosting website.
* Watch out for your friends. If you see people harassing or bullying your friends or posting rude things, report them to the website. Don’t assume somebody else is going to do it.
* Take suicide threats seriously. Sometimes people, especially teenagers, will talk about their fears or suicidal thoughts online when they won’t talk to friends or families in real or offline life. Even if you think people might be joking, take all threats seriously and tell the person to contact the local authorities for help.