What is CyberBullying?
With school out for most of the country this week, a lot of teens are looking forward to less work and more time on social media and other online platforms. The break from learning is nice, but unfortunately, more time on social media also increases their chances of being bullied online.
What is CyberBullying?
CyberBullying is repeatedly and intentionally mistreating someone using an electronic device or platform. Since it often happens to children and adolescents, people tend to think that it’s just a part of growing up, but studies show that it can have dire consequences if left unaddressed.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 15% of children ages 12 to 18 have been cyberbullied at some point. However, since the pandemic, that number has risen. In 2021, 25% of children ages 13 to 15 reported being cyberbullied in 2021 alone.
Children and teens who are bullied online are twice as likely to self harm or attempt suicide, with an even higher percentage (56%) if the child identifies at LGBTQ.
What are examples of Cyberbullying?
Since a lot of parents haven’t experienced cyberbullying themselves, we at STAND want to help you know what to look for with your children. Here is a list of several types of cyberbullying:
- Harassment – Things like comments, texts, emails that are designed to embarrass, scare, or make your child ashamed of themselves.
- Impersonation – This is when the bully actually pretends they are the person being bullied in order to embarrass, shame, or hurt them.
- Other Forms of CyberBullying – sharing nudes or other degrading photos online, sharing personal information to a wide audience, recording physical bullying and sharing that online, circulating rumors online.
Unfortunately, this is not a full list. There are many forms of cyberbullying, but with this list in mind, you can watch for signs that your child is being bullied or perhaps is the bully.
Take a look at this video from two TikTok influencers about how they’ve been bullied online and what they’ve done about it.
What does CyberBullying Do?
The effects of cyberbullying are much like any other type of bullying, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, but the problem with cyberbullying is that it follows them wherever they go. There is no escaping it by just not going to school.
Check back in a couple of weeks where we will share how to help your teen or child with cyberbullying but for now, you know what it is and what it can do so you can be informed.
You aren’t alone in this anymore.