Bullying has become more dangerous and volatile. Teens constantly check their smartphones, leaving them more susceptible to bullying. “When harassment and intimidation take place online, it’s called cyberbullying.”
Teens are at a greater risk for experiencing or committing online bullying. 11 to 12-year-olds are most affected. And, this trend continues on throughout the teenage years.
“This kind of bullying can be especially hard to deal with because it can be difficult to control and visible to a large number of people.”
What is Online Bullying?
Online bullying, or cyberbullying, is “the deliberate, persistent, and malicious use of words or pictures in an online environment intended to cause harm to someone’s well being.”
What Does Cyberbullying Look Like?
Cyberbullying appears as:
- Receiving intentionally hurtful text messages, emails or direct messages on social media.
- Spreading rumors or lies about someone online.
- Sending images or videos intended to humiliate or embarrass someone.
- Sending online threats to someone.
- People setting up and using fake online profiles to embarrass or intimidate someone.
“Young people are more likely to bully someone online than they would in real-life. They feel less accountable for their actions due to the nature of the online world.”
What are the Consequences of Online Bullying?
Victims of online bullying suffer in the outside world. Negative effects of cyberbullying on teenagers include:
- Lower school attendance and poor performance.
- Increased stress and anxiety.
- Feelings of isolation and fear.
- Poor concentration.
- Decreased self-esteem and confidence.
- In extreme cases cyberbullying has lead to suicide.
How Parents Can Help
Many teens feel helpless. They think, “There’s no one out there who can offer support.” Parents can get involved by:
- Reassuring their teen that there are people who can offer help.
- Tell their teen to resist the urge to retaliate.
- Save evidence of bullying in case there is a criminal case.
- Report online bullying.
To learn more ways how to help your teen, click here.