Teenagers spend an increasing amount of time navigating a complex virtual environment while using social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, which continue to rise in popularity.
Unfortunately, bullying among children and teenagers is more prevalent than ever before. Bullies can now say hurtful things without worrying about their victims' physical reactions or the impact of what they've said on them. In order to better comprehend cyberbullying on social media, we must first acknowledge its existence, educate ourselves, and then take steps to stay safe on social media.
The term “cyberbullying” refers to any type of bullying that occurs via digital devices such as cell phones, laptops, and tablet computers. It is possible for cyberbullying to take place via text messages (SMS), applications, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. When someone posts, sends or shares malicious or hurtful content about another person via the internet, it is considered cyberbullying. Embarrassment or humiliation can be caused by exposing intimate or private facts about someone else. Cyberbullying can sometimes transcend the line into criminal activity.
Cyberbullying occurs most frequently in the following places:
- Social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram
- Mobile and tablet messaging via SMS and messaging apps
- Over the internet, instant messaging, online chat, and direct messaging
- Message boards, chat rooms, and other online communities, such as Reddit
- Gaming communities on the internet
Social Media Use Increases Cyberbullying
Teenagers are increasingly spending more time online figuring out how to get around in a confusing virtual world thanks to the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and others.
The social norms that apply when teenagers interact with their friends in person are different from those when they connect with their peers online. Social media is a place where people may vent their frustrations and express their opinions without fear of retaliation. When cyberbullies engage in these activities because they cannot see the immediate impact of their actions, there is less regret or empathy. Cyberbullying is particularly prevalent among social media-dependent teens and those who spend more time on the internet.
Examples of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can include:
- Sending text messages or instant messages to someone
- Spreading rumors or secrets about others on the internet
- Intruding into another person's gaming or social media accounts
- Using someone else's identity to promote harmful content online
Texts or IMs that make someone feel harassed
In a series of texts, three of Johnny's teammates accuse him of being the reason for the team's defeat and suggest that perhaps he should learn how to play the game. The bullying continues throughout the season because Johnny is frightened to tell his coach and parents. He doesn't play soccer again the following year.
A soccer player, Mike tends to turn his teammates against Sarah, the only female player on the team. Mike persuades the majority of the crew to unfriend Sarah on Facebook, despite the fact that they are all friends. Sarah is outraged by this and chooses to stop playing soccer.
Invasion of an email account with the intent to send obscene or harmful messages to others
There is a Facebook page for Mike's minor soccer squad where the entire team may communicate during the soccer season. When Mike visits the team's Facebook page to check in before practice, he discovers that one of the team players, acting to be an assistant coach, has posted rumors that Mike's son Gerry was selected to the squad because his father was the coach. Gerry has already seen the remark and decided not to attend practice as a result of it.
Players who engage in verbal abuse of others in online games and virtual worlds
At least one member of Terry's team is subjected to persistent bullying. Terry apologizes to a player one day as practice comes to a close and invites him to join an online game once he gets home. The victimized player is happy that Terry has become a buddy but he has no idea that Terry is a “griefer,” a phrase used to describe people who use online games to harass and harass others who are participating in online gaming. Terry went out of his way to find the other player when they were playing and specifically targeted him. On top of all that, Terry not only attacked the other player while they were still in the game, but he also sent threatening and harassing texts to them outside of the game. As a result, the victimized soccer player no longer wishes to be a squad member.
Create blogs or webpages with articles, drawings, images, or jokes that ridicule others
At the rink, two parents get into a fight over the skill levels of their children. These parents have a popular blog on the joys and challenges of being a soccer mom or dad. He publishes an essay about a parent who is “misguided” because he won't admit that his son isn't good enough to play at this level that night. A number of indicators in the blog post point to the blog's author, making it very clear to everyone in the community who was behind the attack.
How Cyberbullying Affects People
Cyberbullying has the potential to cause psychological harm in addition to physical harm. It is possible for victims of cyberbullying to feel a variety of negative feelings, such as grief or even fury. This might lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Cyberbullying, as you can see, can have a significant detrimental impact on the lives of young people. Bullies and their victims may both suffer from physical and mental health issues due to bullying.
Cyberbullying on social media can cause medical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and difficulty sleeping. Suicidal thoughts and feelings are among the side effects of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and other mental health issues.
The victim's academic performance can be harmed as a result of cyberbullying. For some victims, attending school is an ordeal that they would rather avoid. It is possible that they will obtain lesser grades than usual.
Additionally, cyberbullying victims may have a hard time making friends. They may have difficulty trusting anyone, and they may avoid socializing with others out of fear. As a result, they may feel alone and lonely.
How To Prevent Cyberbullying
As an adolescent, you can do certain things to be safe on social media if you're the victim of cyberbullying.
- Inform a trusted companion of your concerns. This could be a family member, a close friend, a teacher, or mental health professional.
- Keep a record of cyberbullying incidents. Messages, emails, and social media posts that were sent to you may contain screenshots.
- Don't allow the bully to contact you again. On social networking and texting apps, you can do this.
- Make a complaint about cyberbullying on the site or app where it occurred.
- Inform your guardians or parents about your current situation. It's possible that they can assist you in stopping the bullying.
- If you're feeling hopeless or suicidal, seek the assistance of a professional.
- Cyberbullying victims should seek out support groups or counseling.
The impacts of cyberbullying on social media can be seen here, and parents and teenagers need to be aware of them.
Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for teens, who may benefit from counseling. Don't forget to urge young people to reach out for help and support if they need it.
Both the bullied and the bullied might suffer major effects due to cyberbullying. Because of this, parents and teens alike should be aware of the consequences of cyberbullying on social media so that they can take appropriate measures to prevent or cope with it when it does occur.
Educate your teens and young adults about the need to stay safe on social media when using computers and other electronic devices in the modern world. In order to intervene if necessary, parents should be aware of the warning signals that their child may be a victim of cyberbullying.