Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through text messages, online, publicly on social media, via direct message on social media, in gaming or anywhere people can view or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
- Social Media ie. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
- Text Message (SMS)
- Direct Messages on Social Media Platforms
Examples of Cyberbullying
- Verbally abusing someone in a video game
- Verbally abusing someone via text message / direct message
- Ridiculing someone on social media
- Threatening a person via social media, email, text message
- Revealing personal information about somebody on social media
- Hacking a person’s email and sending messages to other people as that person
- Stealing someone’s password and impersonating that person online
- Spreading gossip via social media that will harm a person’s reputation
- Creating articles or websites with jokes or pictures ridiculing a person
Effects of Cyberbullying
The effects of cyberbullying are similar to the effects of any other kind of bullying. A person who is experiencing cyberbullying may begin to withdraw socially and become disinterested in activities with friends and family. If they are a student, their progress in school may suddenly start to suffer, and if they're an employee, their performance at work may begin to decline. The person may also begin to experience one or more of the following: anger, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, a feeling of isolation or thoughts of suicide.
To a victim of cyberbullying, it feels like the bullying is everywhere.