Cyber bullying is for real and one that most teens face online these days; cyber bullying is a form of harassment where one minor initiates an attack on another minor online for a variety of reasons stemming from their need to feel good about themselves. As inane as it sounds, one of the most touted reasons for most cyber bullies to continue doing what they do is just so that they can feel powerful and good about themselves. As for the victim, they are often made to feel guilty like it’s their fault, that they are the ones to blame for what’s happening to them. Cyber bullying can be vicious; never ending and can have tragic results. So let’s take a closer look at some of the negative effects of cyber bullying, shall we?
- Violence: Cyber bullying on its own includes anything from name calling to threatening bodily harm, but there have been cases where one minor started cyber bullying another which soon descended into actual violence. In fact, most bullies often prefer to avoid violence altogether but some do indulge in it but that’s mainly on account of peer pressure. The number of cyber bullying cases where acts of violence have been committed either by one person or more has grown incrementally in the last few years. This does set a disturbing trend and if cyber bullying is allowed to grow unchecked, such acts may take place more frequently.
- Loss of self-esteem: Often the victim experiences a sharp dip in his self-confidence as a result of cyber bullying and along with it, self-esteem as well. As a result, he will become more withdrawn, less prone to socialize and may even become a recluse. He would be less likely to confide the cyber bullying to anyone and often the perpetrator knows this and uses it to label the victim a coward. This further starts another cycle of vicious cyber bullying which can often end in tragic circumstances.
- Suicide: One of the reasons for the increase in teen suicides over the last few years has been the uptick in the number of cyber bullying acts being reported in from all across the country. All the victims are minors and they are at a vulnerable stage of development that makes them more susceptible to other influences like peer pressure, peer validation. And when you add cyber bullying to the mix, it becomes a toxic cocktail with expected results. Often the victim is tormented and egged to feel guilty about their actions. In fact, most of them are pushed to think of themselves as being worthless and a burden on society and are often pushed to commit suicide. Inevitably, a few teens do take the inevitable step with tragic consequences.
These are some of the negative side effects of cyber bullying which is why this needs to be checked and eliminated right away. And guidance counselors should be available to help young minors deal with the issue of cyber bullying and to provide them with the required guidance.