Bullying is undesired aggressive behavior among school kids that involve a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is often repeated over time which harasses the person being bullied. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors about someone, attacking someone verbally or physically or excluding someone from a group on purpose which can hurt morale of the person.
Whenever Bullying takes place on Internet, it is known as Cyberbullying. In simple worlds, Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass the target person.
Examples of Cyberbullying include text messages or emails, rumors shared through email or posted on social networking websites, and embarrassing pictures, websites or misrepresenting websites.
Cyberbullying is dangerous, following are some of the reasons:
- Cyberbullying can take place 24 hours day, 7 days a week and round the year as Internet is geographically neutral.
- Messages on Internet can be posted anonymously making it extremely hard to identify the bullies and punish them.
- Removing the content like messages or images from Internet is extremely hard.
- A kid can interact with person who lies about his age, qualification which makes it a dangerous situation.
- Cyberbullying can make a harassed student consume alcohol and drugs due to bullies, skip schools if their self esteem is hurt, receive poor grades as they are left distracted and also the kids can have health problems because of the tensions which have emerged because of cyber bullying.
According to Wikipedia, Maximum instances of Cyber Bulling is observed over Facebook followed by Instagram, Twitter.
Below is the graph:
Cyberbullying in the past has led to suicides. Case of Tyler Clementi became a major case of Cyberbullying wherein bullies broadcasted activities of Tyler over internet without consent. More details can be read here.
To prevent kids from falling prey to Cyberbullies, it is important to spread awareness about Digital Citizenship which is the set of norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use by the children / users. To download free Digital Citizenship Android and iOS App, click on the image below.