Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the government has shut down the schools and colleges. All the students far around the world are practicing study from home. Amidst adapting online learning mediums to seek education, there are many violating incidences taking place as well. Every day, we hear students complaining that someone trolled them, i.e., affected by cyberbullying. Before knowing further on the present topic, let’s first understand what cyberbullying is and its effects on the student’s life.
Cyberbullying is the bullying of a person over digital mediums such as cell phones, computers, etc. The primary sources through which cyberbullying might occur include sharing wrong or mean comments about someone, including personal or private information. Since the students follow up with the active use of various digital mediums, they get trapped by cyberbullying most often. The most common digital sites wherein they face bullying from their fellow mates are:-
- Social media handles like Instagram and Snapchat
- Instant messaging and online chatting over the internet
- Online classrooms and study forums
- Online gaming apps and websites
Now, with the sound knowledge of cyberbullying, let’s understand how cyberbullying is causing unrest among students during the lockdown situation.
What are the Effects of Cyberbullying?
With the advent of technology, the model of education is shifting from traditional learning to online learning, helping students to continue studying even during the lockdown. On the contrary, excessive presence of students online leaves the records of their personal information in the form of photos, posts, and digital forums. Since the data is the web is accessible by both known and strangers, high chances are there of it getting misused. As an effect of cyberbullying, the students become a victim – not just losing their online reputation but also getting trolled by their classmates as well.
In this, the most common effects of cyberbullying faced by the teens are:-
Due to the student’s dependency on digital mediums, the maximum time that they spend online is quite high. For everything, including taking online lectures, submitting assignments, and social interaction, there is barely any chance of not using it. Since students have to use this digital space very often, the ones experiencing bullying can’t escape it. Due to this persistent presence of the digital mediums 24*7, the effects of cyberbullying are harmful.
Vulnerable and Powerlessness
Most often, cyberbullying doesn’t come from an acquaintance, so the victims often find it challenging to feel safe. That feeling of being trolled by a stranger can make them feel vulnerable to threats, which are hard to escape. Due to threats from unknown sources or maybe from known as well, the teens feel powerless to fight against the internal cosmos that builds due to the fear.
Exposed, Humiliated, and Dissatisfied
Since cyberbullying occurs in cyberspace, the probability of it reaching multitudes of people is high. The fear of it reaching the sheer volume of both known and unknown ones can cause humiliation in the teens. Since this bully-victim cycle is an ending cycle, it gives rise to dissatisfaction with the immediate surroundings. The students lose interest in studies and lose-confidence in speaking up for themselves.
The victim of cyberbullying avoid talking to family, friends, and going to school feels like a vault to them. In fact, in the worst-case scenario, the student also gets a feeling of committing suicide. If anyone around you has suicidal thoughts, you can follow up with the National Suicide Prevention Helpline number.
Cyberbullying Statistics – Frequency of Bullying
To find the frequency of students getting bullied due to cyberbullying, here are two sources of collected data on youth bullying. As per the two records:-
- In 2017, the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice indicates that among students aged 12-18, bullied during the school years, 15% complained that they were bullied online or by text.
- In another report from 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that an estimate of 14.9% of high school students was electronically bullied in the 12 months to the survey.
How to Stop Cyberbullying?
If you’re a victim of cyberbullying who feels depressed and sidelined, here are some preventive measures that you must take to stop it rn.
Don’t Victimize Yourself
The first tip to stop cyberbullying is to stop victimizing yourself for the circumstances created by others. If you detest yourself more and more, you’ll get unhappy with everything that’s around, and you’ll lose your peace of mind. Instead, find ways to overcome the depression that overtakes you. Prepare yourself to bear with all that follows.
The person behind this cyberbullying is seeking your response to bully you further. If you respond to their nuances now and then, it’ll get them a chance to suppress you to a greater extent. Try to ignore what’s bullying you with the humor context of his talks. This way, you’ll escape falling trap to the person bullying you and will help you overcome it.
Reach Out for Help
Every school has a school psychologist or counselor whose prime task is to look after your mental health. So, if you feel that you’re being cyberbullied, reach out to them for help. Tell them how you think about it and take suggestions on dealing with the solution. This way, they’ll take legal actions and will help stop the cyberbullying then and there.
Protect your Accounts
Don’t trust anyone to share your account passwords. You never know which acquaintance turns out to be a con and hack your details to use it for humiliating you. So, keep your passwords to yourself and protect yourself against cyberbullying.
Also, if you don’t like getting bullied, don’t bully anyone either. Let’s break the circle and make online learning a better space for imparting education.