Forms of bullying have varied and multiplied over time. One of the last to arrive has been digital harassment, to which we are going to dedicate this article. This time we are going to review questions and answers about cyberbullying.
Questions and answers about cyberbullying
The fact that you are here looking for information about this problem shows that you are concerned about it, much more if you think that your son or daughter may be a victim or even that they could be acting as a bully. To help you solve doubts, we are going to clear up some of the most common unknowns regarding this topic.
How does cyberbullying happen?
There is no single answer to this, because there are a lot of varieties. The common points in all cases are that both the victim and their harasser are minors (if they are not, we are dealing with another type of cyberbullying) and that the final objective is none other than to make the bullied feel bad and isolate them socially.
Some examples of cyberbullying:
- Spread rumors about the victim using telematic means.
- Hack into their email or social media accounts and impersonate the victim.
- Disseminate online personal data of the harassed person.
- Employing the victim on social networks or instant messaging groups.
- Vexing, humiliating or laughing at the harassed person.
- Threate or coerce.
What is the difference between bullying and cyberbullying
On the contrary, in cyberbullying bullying behaviors occur through telematic means such as telephone, email, WhatsApp or social networks.
It is quite common to confuse both terms, and not only because of their similarity, but because they frequently occur together.
Although in cyberbullying the bully and the victim could be thousands of kilometers apart, reality shows us that many times this online bullying is an extension of bullying.
Frequently we find that children or adolescents who are victims of bullying have to continue facing such bullying even inhome, through your phone or your social networks.
The latest studies show that from the age of 13 one in three cases of bullying is also a case of cyberbullying.
Phrases to avoid cyberbullying
Educational centers are already taking measures to make children and adolescents aware of this problem. It is about avoiding harassing behaviors, but also encouraging victims and witnesses to report this type of situation.
A good way to motivate is through phrases, here are some examples:
Never be mistreated in silence. Never allow yourself to be a victim. Do not accept that nobody defines your life, define yourself.Tim Fields
Overcoming abuse doesn't just happen. It is done step by step and positively. Let today be the day you start moving forward.Assunta Harris
Never join an abuser, even to avoid being abused. If you do, you sink as low as you can, you become his follower and a coward.Anonymous
If there are no heroes to save you, you have to become a hero.Denpa Kyoshi
What if the kid you bullied at school grows up to be the only surgeon who could save your life?Lynette Mather
Causes of online bullying
- Lack of attention from the family, resulting in children who cannot withstand frustration and may become violent, or who simply do so to attract the attention of others.< /li>
- The social pressureof children and adolescents to integrate and stand out in a group.
- The media that transmit erroneous ideas about the roles that each one should assume.
Cyberbullying, grooming and sexting
In this question and answer article on cyberbullying these concepts could not be missing. They really are specific modalities related to sex. The first is about an adult who tries to deceive minors to obtain pornographic images.
The second case involves the consensual sending of images of sexual content, although they can then be used to harass the victim or extort money.
Cyberbullying and cyberbullying
They are actually the same thing. The only difference is that we are talking about cyberbullying if the victim and her harasser are under the age ofage. In case of similar situations but between adults we will talk about cyberbullying.
Percentage of people who experience cyberbullying
As we mentioned before, from the age of 13, one in three children who is bullied at school is also bullied online.
70% of the victims are women who, in turn, are harassed by a majority of women. When the victim is a man, most of her harassers are also men.
¿ How likely is my child to be cyberbullied?
It is impossible to determine, it seems that no one is safe from this type of behavior. Most of the victims are children of Spanish nationality, without economic problems and belonging to a conventional family.
It is true that more timid children, with some physical defect or who stand out in front of others are more likely to be bullied, but when it comes down to it the bullying profile does not discriminate and can pounce on anyone.
In fact, online bullying is even worse than bullying, as many people who wouldn't dare face-to-face take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to harass people they would never cross. to act face to face. This makes the profile of victims very varied.
The important thing is to educate our children so that they are not the bullies, so that they do not shut up if they see a bullying situation and to know how to react if they are victims.
It is essential that as adults we act quickly and legally if we become aware that our child is being bullied. Our goal will be to resolve the situation as soon as possible and in the best way so that the child stops suffering.
We hope these questions and answers about cyberbullying have been of interest to you. If you want to know more about this problem, we invite you to read our articles on how to prevent cyberbullying and our complete guide on cyberbullying.
15 Frequently asked questions about cyberbullying
1. What exactly is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying, also known as cyberstalking, refers to the use of digital media, primarily the Internet and mobile devices, to harass, intimidate, humiliate, or threaten a person. It is a form of negative, repetitive and aggressive behavior that is carried out without the consent of the victim and is intended to cause harm, be it emotional, psychological or, in some cases, physical. Cyberbullying actions may include, but are not limited to, sending hurtful text messages, posting rumors online, sharing compromising images or videos, and creating fake profiles to make fun of someone.
2. How is cyberbullying different fromtraditional bullying?
Cyberbullying and traditional bullying share certain similarities in that both seek to intimidate or harm the victim. However, there are distinctive features between them:
- Media: While traditional bullying manifests itself in face-to-face interactions, such as shoving, teasing, or isolation, cyberbullying occurs through digital media such as social media, text messages, emails, and more. and websites.
- Reach: Cyberbullying can have a broader and faster reach, since the content can be shared and viewed by thousands of people in a short time.
- Anonymity: Cyberbullies can often hide their identity, which can increase their sense of impunity and make it more difficult to identify them.
- Persistence: Online content can stay on the web indefinitely, meaning victims can relive the experience over and over again every time someone views or shares that content.
3. What are the most common types of cyberbullying?
There are several types of cyberbullying, depending on how it manifests itself. Some of the most common include:
- Harassment: Sending repetitive and malicious messages to the victim.
- Impersonation: Creating fake accounts or profiles to post information or content that makes the victim look bad or to interact with others by posing as the victim.
- Outing: Disclose sensitive or private information about the victim without her consent.
- Exclusion: Intentionally excluding someone from an online group, such as a chat room or social media page.
- Cyberbullying: Following and harassing the victim on different online platforms, often changing accounts or profiles to avoid being blocked.
- Happy slapping: Physically attacking someone while another is recording the incident, then sharing the video online.
4. How do I know if someone is being bullied online?
Detecting if someone is a victim of cyberbullying can be challenging, as many suffer in silence. However, there are red flags to watch out for:
- Behavioral changes: The person may become more withdrawn, anxious, or depressed.
- Avoidance of electronic devices: A sudden aversion to using a cell phone or computer may indicate that you are avoiding facing bullying online.
- Vague comments: You may make vague references to problems online or to people who are treating you poorly.
- Poor grades: Academic performance may decrease due to the stress associated with cyberbullying.
- Changes in sleep pattern: You may have trouble sleeping or have frequent nightmares.
- Online activity secrecy: You can quickly hide screens or be very secretive about what you are doing online.
5. What effects does cyberbullying have on its victims?
Cyberbullying can have profound and long-lasting consequences on the mental and emotional health of its victims. Some effects include:
- Anxiety and depression: Constant exposure to bullying can cause anxiety and depression.
- Low self-esteem: Victims often internalize the words and actions of their offenders, which can affect their perception of themselves.
- Academic problems: Concentration and performance can be affected, leading to low grades and absenteeism.
- Physical health problems: Stress can manifest itself in headaches, stomach problems, and other health problems.
- Feelings of isolation: Victims may feel lonely and avoid social contact.
- Suicidal ideation: In extreme cases, cyberbullying can lead the victim to consider or attempt suicide.
6. Who are the most vulnerable or likely to suffer harassment online?
While anyone can be a victim of cyberbullying, there are certain groups that may be more vulnerable or proneto experience bullying online:
- Youth and adolescents: This age group is the most active on social networks and, therefore, is more exposed to risk.
- People with visible differences: Those who have physical characteristics, disabilities, or any other differences may be easy targets for bullies.
- Minorities: People who belong to minority groups, whether based on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, may be subject to online harassment due to prejudice or stigma.< /li>
- Individuals with "compromising" pasts: Someone who has made mistakes in the past or has been previously bullied may be more likely to be targeted by cyberbullies.
7. What can I do if I find out my child is being bullied online?
Finding out that your child is a victim of cyberbullying can be distressing. Here are some actions you can take to help:
- Talk to your child: Make sure he feels supported and understood. Encourage him to share his feelings and concerns with you.
- Keep evidence: Take screenshots and keep records of online interactions that constitute cyberbullying. These can be useful if you decide to report the case to the authorities.
- Inform the school: If the bully is a classmate or goes to the same school, it is important to inform the administration so they can take appropriate action.
- Parental Controls: Use parental control tools to monitor your child's online activity and protect them from potential bullies.
- Report: If the harassment is serious, consider reporting it to the police or to the platforms where it occurred.
- Seek professional help: Consider seeking the support of a psychologist or counselor to help your child deal with the trauma.
8. Are there laws that protect against bullying?
Yes, many countries have implemented specific laws to deal with bullying and cyberbullying. These laws can:
- Define bullying and cyberbullying: Clearly establish what behaviors constitute bullying and what does not.
- Protect victims: They offer legal protection to those who are harassed, guaranteeing their right to study in a safe environment.
- Set sanctions: For those who commit bullying, which may include disciplinary sanctions, fines, or even jail terms in serious cases.
- Force institutions: Schools and colleges may be obliged to implement prevention programs and respond appropriately to cases of bullying.
It is vital to learn about the specific laws of your jurisdiction or country to understand your rights and responsibilities in relation to bullying and cyberbullying.
9. How can I prevent or stop cyber bullying?
Preventing and curbing cyberbullying requires a proactive and multifaceted approach. Here are some recommendations to consider:
- Education: Educates young people about the dangers of cyberbullying and how to treat others with respect online.
- Online Privacy: Teaches young people to properly set privacy settings on their social media accounts and to be selective about the information they share.
- Dialogue: Maintain open communication with your children or students about their experiences online. Make sure they feel comfortable coming to you if they run into problems.
- Report: Use reporting tools on social media and online platforms to report any form of harassment.
- Support: If you know someone who is being bullied, be supportive and help find solutions to the problem.
10. Is there a tool or app that helps protect against mobile phone harassment?
Yes, there are a number of tools and apps designed to help protect users from mobile phone harassment:
- Parental control apps: These apps allow parents to monitor the online activity ofyour kids and set limits on their use of the internet and specific apps.
- Call and message filters: Many smartphones include options to block calls and messages from unknown or suspicious numbers.
- Anti-bullying apps: Tools like "ReThink" or "STOPit" are designed to identify and stop bullying behaviors online, even before they occur.
- Safety apps: Some apps offer additional features, such as panic alarms or the ability to share your location with trusted people if you feel threatened.
It is important to do your research and select the most appropriate tool for you and your family's needs.
11. What should I do if I am being cyberbullied myself?
If you are being cyberbullied, it is crucial that you take steps to protect yourself and seek support:
- Keep evidence: Take screenshots and record all interactions that constitute bullying. This may be crucial for any future research.
- Don't respond: Avoid responding to taunts or hurtful messages. Don't feed into the bully's behavior.
- Report: Report the bullying to online platforms and social media. Most have anti-cyberbullying policies and can take action against bullies.
- Seek support: Talk to friends, family, or professionals about what you are experiencing. You are not alone in this.
- Report: If the harassment is serious, consider reporting it to law enforcement.
- Set your privacy: Make sure your online accounts and profiles have strong privacy settings.
12. How can I support someone who is going through a situation of cyberbullying?
Supporting someone who is facing cyberbullying is essential to help them overcome the situation. Here are some ways to offer your support:
- Listen: Offer a sympathetic ear and allow the harassed person to share their feelings and experiences without judgment.
- Accompany: Help the victim collect evidence and, if necessary, accompany her to report the harassment.
- Report: If the victim is reluctant to report the harassment, do so (with her consent) to the appropriate platforms or authorities.
- Offers resources: Provides information about support groups, help lines, or educational resources about cyberbullying.
- Encourages: Reinforces the victim's self-esteem, reminding them that the bullying is not their fault and that they deserve respect and safety online.
13. What role do social networks play in cyberbullying?
Social media plays a significant role in cyberbullying due to its prevalence and ease of use. Some key points about his role are:
- Easy access platform: Social networks offer a space where attackers can contact their victims anonymously or under pseudonyms.
- Content virility: Offensive messages or compromising images can be shared quickly, reaching a wide audience in a short time.
- Permanence: Once something is posted online, it is difficult to remove it completely, which can prolong the trauma for the victim.
- Lack of supervision: Youth often use social media without proper adult supervision, which can facilitate undetected bullying.
While many platforms are implementing measures to combat cyberbullying, it is vital that users are also proactive in protecting themselves and reporting inappropriate behavior.
14. Is cyberbullying just a problem for young people or does it affect adults as well?
Although cyberbullying is commonly associated with young people, especially in the school context, it is not limited to this age group. Adults can also be victims of bullying online. This can happen in the workplace, among groups of friends, or even with strangers on social media platforms and forums. Adults can facesimilar forms of harassment, such as defamation, threats, or the disclosure of personal information without consent. It is essential to recognize that cyberbullying is a problem that can affect anyone, regardless of their age.
15. Where can I get help or advice for bullying?
If you or someone you know is facing bullying, it's critical to seek help. Some options include:
- Education professionals: Talk to teachers, counselors, or principals at the school or educational institution.
- Helplines: Many countries and regions offer specific bullying helplines where you can get advice and support.
- Specialized organizations: There are non-governmental organizations that provide resources, advice and support to victims of bullying.
- Therapists or counselors: A mental health professional can offer strategies for coping and overcoming the trauma of bullying.
- Support groups: Participating in support groups can offer a safe space to share experiences and get advice.
It is essential to act quickly and seek the right support to face and overcome bullying.