Signs of Cyber BullyingAssociation of Educators
September 17, 2013 — 847 views
Bullying has always made the victims want to go home and take refuge. Cyber bullying is similar to other forms of bullying, the major difference is that it can be constant. Student suicides and even murders have been accounted to cyber bullying. Students that are victims could just as well be the bully the next moment.
Understanding Cyber Bullying
School children use the Internet as an extension to their social life and not just for research and school work. This makes bullying easier. It has to have a minor involved on both sides. As soon as an adult gets involved, it is called cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. In most cases both the parties know each other. The reason cyber bullying is so rampant is that it is so much easier than face to face bullying because of the anonymity the internet can provide.
Experts say that cyber bullying can have worse psychological effects on a child when compared to other forms of bullying. By using it, children are threatened, harassed, embarrassed and targeted otherwise. It is considered a crime and the punishment can range from a charge of juvenile delinquency to that of cyber harassment misdemeanor, though it doesn't go that far in most cases.
Different Forms of Cyber Bullying
The internet provides various means of forming social connections. All of them can be used to bully a peer. Both boys and girls show bullying traits, though they usually use different means of bullying. The different forms of bullying are:
- ·Sending threatening or mean emails, IMs or texts
- ·Excluding someone from an IM friend list or blocking their email, or social networking profile for no apparent reason
- ·Sharing someone's revealing embarrassing and personal information after having gained their trust
- ·Hacking into emails or social networking accounts and posting untrue messages as the other person
- ·Making websites to make fun of classmates and teachers
- ·Using peer rating websites to vote on the ugliest or prettiest.
The bullying traits of girls are usually spreading rumors and excluding a person while boys opt for mean and lewd messages.
Signs of Cyber Bullying
There are a few signs that may indicate that a child is a victim. If noticed, they must be followed up by an adult and intervention must take place. Most children shy away from reporting incidents of embarrassment to adults. Signs that a child is a cyber-bully or is being bullied are:
- · Hesitancy in being online or avoidance of using the computer or over usage is case of a bully
- · Nervous responses to texts or IMs
- · Visible drop in mood after having used a phone or the Internet
- · Drop in academic work and performance
- ·Secretive behavior while using the computer
- · Withdrawal from social activities
- · Marked sullen, angry or depressed behavior
- · Withdrawal from friends and family members
- · Reluctance to attend school and marked absenteeism
- · Loss of appetite and low energy levels
- · Disturbed sleeping patterns
If any of these warning signs of cyber bullying are observed, the children must be talked to as they might not be aware that help is available.