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Understanding Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies

Where does cyberbullying occur?

Cyberbullying can happen in many places, all of which are related to the Internet. Social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, are among the most common places where bullying happens. Students might also receive nasty emails, threatening text messages, rude or cruel instant messages or even entire websites devoted to tearing them down.

When does cyberbullying occur?

Sometimes college cyberbullying lasts only as long as the proactive individual allows it to last. For instance, the victim might shut down their social media accounts and block texts and IMs from offending parties, yet not all victims of bullying can take such steps. For instance, someone who must use a social media account for work or school cannot easily close their accounts. Also, a victim with a persistent bully will have much more trouble shaking their aggressor, as the perpetrator can continue to make extra fake accounts to continue their harassment, possibly for years.

How does cyberbullying happen?

Cyberbullying usually doesn't have the component of physical threats, as face-to-face bullying does. However, the psychological effects of bullying online might be much worse. Cyberbullying is nerve wracking in that the person being bullied never knows when and where to expect another attack. They often have little protection, as bullies will change user names and hide behind anonymous posts. The result is often serious issues with self-esteem and trust, a greater risk of depression and suicide.

Why does cyberbullying happen today?

As with most bullies, there are issues of low self-esteem and insecurity at play. Cyberbullying is a bit different because the perpetrator doesn't have to physically confront their victim. They can hide behind an anonymous username and bully someone who might never know the source of their torment. This anonymity can embolden those who would never dream of bullying someone in real life, and, given this power, can create more future targets.


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