What is Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of Cyber-bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Why Cyber-bullying is Different?
Those who are being cyber-bullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, those who are cyber-bullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.
- Cyber-bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a person even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
- Cyber-bullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Effects of Cyber-bullying
Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyber-bullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.
Those who are cyber-bullied are more likely to:
- Use alcohol and drugs
- Skip school
- Experience in-person bullying
- Be unwilling to attend school
- Receive poor grades
- Have lower self-esteem
- Have more health problems