The internet was built with good intentions, yet when it first arrived who’d have thought it would develop into such a dangerous space for many unlucky people?
Bullying has sadly always been around, but in the modern world, cyber bullying has now made it impossible to hide.
Cyber bullying is another form of bullying, and research shows it has increased to affect 12% of young people in Britain.
I often wonder, do these people making nasty comments online actually realise the affect they may have on the victim? Perhaps they don’t realise the impact passing comments will have on a persons life but that doesn’t mean it can be excused-it’s simply bullying.
Behind a screen we all have the freedom to be who we want, some often identifying as somebody they are not, in this case -TROLLS.
Here are a range of reasons why people might cyberbully others, they include:
- acting tough;
- hiding behind a screen;
- wanting attention; and,
- peer pressure.
It can be easier to bully online because you only have to type something and you don’t have to face somebody in real life.
Although to the bully it may seem like nothing, to the victim the damage could last a lifetime.
There can be a tendency to typecast people as either a “bully” or a “victim” but it is often not as clear cut as this.
46% of young people asked said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text.
Bullying doesn’t have to be extreme
many young people recognise that they may not always be aware of a cyber bullying incident.
Here are some young people’s exeriences of cyber bullying-
- posting comments, messages, photos or screenshots that are mean, threatening, untrue, personal, secret or embarrassing.
- anonymous messages or abuse (on social networks or online gaming).
- filming you or taking photos of you without your consent.
- fake accounts or profiles.
- excluding people from online conversations or talk behind your back.
Nowadays, we can screenshot and save anything, meaning the hurtful things shared online can be visible forever.
How can we make this stop?
Well sadly, we can’t stop cyberbullying but if you’re on the receiving end of it the number one rule according to Meic is: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.
Report the abuse and take screenshots to use as evidence.
Use the block/report buttons on your social media accounts.
Let’s fight it together is an award winning film aimed at young people to show the affects of cyber bullying, you can watch it by clicking here.
So it’s clear, cyberbullying is just as bad as bullying- but we often don’t realise the extent of harm passing comments etc may bring.
To me, it comes down to simply being kind.
Not to get too emotional but deep down we know what’s right and wrong, so knowing the affects cyberbullying can have, why chance putting anything out there that may upset somebody?
Remember to use the internet with positive intentions only.
With cyberbullying on the rise, let’s work together for a safer internet and see those numbers decrease.
Don’t hesitate to seek support through Meic here if you’ve been affected by bullying.