With technology, bullying is able to happen at home, through e-mail, texts, and social media through the form of cyber bullying. Bullying is no longer prominent in playgrounds, or on school grounds.
Cyber bullying: How It Works
When a child or young adult accesses the internet, text messages or social media websites, or chat rooms they are susceptible to cyber bullying. As you are aware, cyber bullying is the use of digital technology to harass another child or young adult.
Zach, age 16 is a teenager who was a bully. Zach stated “I was angry with my life because my parents were arguing and I always felt better when I made others feel bad. I resorted to cyber bullying because no one knew who I was on there. I would hide behind a screen name and I wouldn’t be caught. I harassed a classmate of mine through a chat room and I thought it was fun because he had no idea it was me.”
As you can see, Zach felt empowered because he was able to bully a classmate and get away with it. Zach’s method of using a chat room is an example of how cyber bullying can follow victims outside of school and even in their own homes.
Harmful Effects on Dana
Dana, age 14, is a victim of cyber bullying. Dana stated “There was a guy in my class that would constantly message me with a username. He would say awful things that made me feel ugly and fat. I knew that he was lowering my self-esteem but I felt powerless to do anything. If I reported it to the teachers, they could not prove it was him.”
In Dana’s Situation, the bully was not able to be identified and was able to constantly harass her by cyber bullying. Cyber bullying like this can often lead to low self-esteem which Dana experienced and it can also lead to feeling hurt, depressed, angry or suicidal.
Can the Roles be Switched?
Often times cyber bullying is something any young adult or child can do. It is easy to hide behind a screen name or fake profile to harass another student. Victims may feel angry and turn around and cyber bully another person.
Julie’s Transformation – Bullying to Bully
Julie, age 18, stated “Back when I was 14 years old I was cyber bullied a lot. I was made fun of for being ugly and short. I always felt angry at myself for letting them bully me. One day I decided to bully one of the girls that bullied me. I said some awful things about her brother and his OCD. I spread lies on social media websites about her and she stopped bothering me. However, I couldn’t stop bothering her because I did not want to go back to being bullied again.”
The Bullying Cycle had started
With Julie, she retaliated because she no longer wanted to be bullied. This started a bullying cycle in which the victims become the bullies and the bullies become victims. Later, the same thing might happen to Julie and she will become the one who is bullied again.
The Worst Part of Bullying is…
Cyber bullying can be done anonymously which makes it easier for the bully and it also hurts the victim more due to the fact that it can follow them everywhere and happen at any time.
Should you need to fulfill your continuing education requirement you might consider getting Bullying CEUs.