Cyberbullying is a type of emotional or verbal abuse carried out over technological platforms.
Cyberbullying comes in many forms. If you have a device that can get online, you can encounter it.
Hurtful text messages: Texts are private so the only the people in the conversation know about them which can make it hard for outside parties to intervene.
Harassing social media posts: Everyone can see public posts and repost them and continue to circulate them – there’s a wider audience viewing the ridicule.
Threatening emails: Cyber bullies can send impersonal emails and feel detached from the outcome without the face to face interaction.
Anonymous apps: A wide audience and anonymity is recipe for cyberbullying disaster.
Compromising pictures: Ever had a picture taken of you that you didn’t like? Imagine what happens when that picture is posted and circulated around social media – not fun.
These are just a few ways cyber bullies can hurt their victims.
Just because cyberbullying isn’t face to face doesn’t mean it’s not serious. In fact, the anonynimty often amplifies the effect.
Cyberbullies may not feel as guilty or responsible for their actions because they don’t have to see the direct impact on the other person. Writing insults to a screen is easier than saying it to someone’s face.
Cyberbully attacks can be more embarrassing for the victim too – it’s hard to delete public online attacks and everyone can read and reread as much as they like.
Anonymity also affects the impacts of cyberbullying. It’s harder to punish the perpetrator when you don’t know who it is. It’s also hurtful that an unknown source is sending insults and causing you pain.