"Cyber bullies can hide behind a mask of anonymity online, and do not need direct physical access to their victims to do unimaginable harm." -Anna Maria Chavez

Since the start of the 21st century and the rise of technology, people have been online more than ever before. Practically everything can be done over the internet, such as shopping, banking, conversing with friends, and learning new academic disciplines.

Although there are so many advantages to using technology to the fullest, some downsides need to be mentioned. Such as? Cyberbullying.

By using chat rooms, instant messaging, texts, and social media, cyberbullies are thriving and causing many harms to people who use the internet for good. The hate they spread is like a virus since it is highly contagious and can infect the thinking of various individuals.

Sadly, cyberbullying continues and, because it can be done behind a screen, there is barely any accountability. So, the best thing that can be done is to avoid situations prone to cyberbullying; this must be done to protect children and young teenagers.

Without further ado, in today's article, we shall talk about the principles of cyberbullying and how parents can instruct their influenceable sons and daughters to avoid it.

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Defining Cyberbullying

Sad, disheartening, and cruel, cyberbullying has become rampant, and the internet is now such a hostile place where hate is spread. It seems that anyone who wants to do something good and meaningful is made to quickly feel helpless and discouraged by negative comments, memes, and rebuttal videos. Ladies and gentlemen, the age of cyberbullying are upon us!

Nonetheless, while many may be familiar with the word cyberbullying, the definition may be unknown. So, what is cyberbullying? In simplest terms, cyberbullying is described as aggressive words and intimidation that is completed using electronic means.

It's like bullying but over the internet. 

Cyberbullying is also known by many as online bullying, and it has become increasingly common in the past few years among teenagers. Cyberbullying occurs on social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram, direct messaging, and chat rooms.

Kids nowadays minimise cyberbullying by calling it hating, drama, and trolling. It's considered comical and entertaining for teens and children to see others bully or "troll" others publicly. What's interesting about cyberbullying is that it can be years of aggression via text messaging, or it can simply be a harmful photo spread around.

To further comprehend the effects of cyberbullying, the following subheading mentions some concerning facts that we should all be aware of.

Facts About Cyberbullying

mean words
Cyberbullying is often the result of the anger and frustration that a person is feeling. (Source: Unsplash)

While there are more definite facts and a more thorough understanding of physical or verbal bullying at schools since cyberbullying is relatively new, investigators, parents, and teachers are slowly gathering statistics.

By looking at the facts, parents, instructors, and school-aged kids and teens are more likely to see the adverse consequences of cyberbullying and be inclined to make a difference.

Without further delay, the following list mentions a few statistics about cyberbullying and intimidation in schools and homes across the United Kingdom:

  • In the past few years, a study has shown that nearly 25% of UK-based students were bullied a few times a month over the internet,
  • Between 2011 and 2016, the number of youngsters facing online harassment in the UK rose by 88%,
  • A person's appearance, their hobbies and activities, the clothes they wear, and their high grades are the most common reasons a child or teen has been bullied or tormented over the internet,
  • A shocking 82% of all cyberbullying in the United Kingdom is completed in primary and secondary schools and not at home,
  • Students using YouTube were the most likely to be cyberbullied.

The previously mentioned facts might be a little disturbing at first glance, but they are entirely accurate. Cyberbullying is an infectious disease that needs to stop. Also, it's worth pointing out that victims of cyberbullying tend to struggle with their mental health and develop depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

Now, enough about the negatives, let's focus on how students can protect themselves from cyberbullying; the information is featured in the following paragraphs.

How to Protect Yourself From Cyberbullying

words that sting
The words and comments of cyberbullies may stay with a person long after they have been said. (Source: Unsplash)

Since nearly 100% of youths worldwide use the internet daily, the online experience is part of a child or teen's existence. Nonetheless, cyberbullying and online intimidation hinder the joyful experience of browsing the internet, playing online games, or conducting exciting research. So, what can be done?

Without delaying the matter any further, the following are a few ways that kids and teens can protect themselves from cyberbullies:

  • Ignore the Bully: instead of answering back to text messages, threatening videos, or harmful videos that the bully wants to spread around, ignore them. A bully has many targets and is solely looking for victims who will react and fuel the intimidators fire. Although complicated, by never responding, you'll probably stay safe.
  • Take Screenshots of the Bullying: while you may want to delete the messages to make the bullying go away, the best thing to do is record the evidence of cyber intimidation and save it for later to share with a trusted adult such as a teacher, parent, or close relative. Then, they will be able to provide you with solutions on what you should do.
  • Complain to the Websites: if you are being bullied on main chat rooms, social media websites, or other well-known platforms, it's a good idea to record the evidence of intimidation and contact customer service. Most websites want to make the browsing experience as comfortable as possible for users. Hence, they have safety centres that look into complaints and restrict access to those who treat others poorly.
  • Block the Bully: even if you ignore the bully, their harassment might persist in some cases. So, what can be done? First, ask a trusted friend or schoolmate to show you how to block a person on social media or instant messaging platforms. By blocking the bully, you are not to get any more harmful insults and suffer name-calling via the internet. If you can't stop the bully, which is highly unlikely, you should delete their messages before opening them.

The four previously mentioned tips are handy for kids and teens to apply when being cyberbullied. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the experience of being cyberbullied, view it as a harsh reality and something that happens, yet take control and do what you can to make it better; your energies will be better spent doing that!

Helpful Information for Parents About Cyberbullying

parents beware
It is now the responsibility of parents to warn children about the dangers of cyberbullying and how they can protect themselves. (Source: Unsplash)

Are you a parent who just found out that their son or daughter is the victim of cyberbullying? Since you never had to deal with the complex aspects of internet "hate" and "trolling", are you unsure about what to do with the matter? If so, you're not alone.

Parents across the United Kingdom are overwhelmed by the awkward experience of helping their children deal with cyberbullying. Mothers and fathers want to provide an instant solution so that their children can stand up to bullies, yet they are perplexed about what they should say and when.

So, to provide parents with the information that they need to succeed, the following list has many tips to help them equip their kids with the tools they need to deal with cyberbullying:

  • Set Technology Use Boundaries: before cyberbullying even starts, it is wise for parents to set boundaries on how much time their children and teens can spend on the internet; this is especially important for young kids. Place restrictions and parental controls on electronic devices at home and have a computer where everyone can see them.
  • Talk About Bullying Openly: one of the biggest mistakes parents make is being afraid to talk about bullying and aspects of cyber safety openly. By having frank conversations with your child about intimidation from a young age, they will feel that it's not a taboo subject and will be more open if it arises in their lives.
  • Monitor for Behaviour Changes: parents know their children very well and can tell when something is up. Mothers and fathers should beware that isolation, withdrawal, and aversion to social activities are signs of cyberbullying. Do not snoop around in their internet access but, rather, try to converse with them and get to the bottom of the situation. Be patient, kind, and supportive since your child is already feeling a lot of hurt.
  • Look Up Helpful Advice from Trusted Resources: if you still need some more information, you might as well check out helpful resources online that guide parents through the process of helping their children deal with cyberbullying. Also, it doesn't hurt to talk with experts such as teachers and psychologists to receive guidance.

Parents, it's not easy to approach the subject of cyberbullying; however, you'll be happy to have helped your child instead of sweeping it under the carpet and dealing with the harsh consequences.

In conclusion, cyberbullying is a terrible thing; nonetheless, we hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with the advice you need to stay away from the haters!

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.