According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one out of five students is being bullied in school and in the community. Only 36% of these children reported bullying. With the onset of social media, bullying has gone digital. Children now bully other children through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Based on the study of Patchin & Hinduja (2016), 34% of students experience cyberbullying.
Here are the harmful effects of bullying in the online world:
Because cyberbullying takes place in the cyberspace, children who are being bullied are feeling humiliated in the online world. Usually, the bully posts nasty photos, texts, or messages that can be permanent in the digital platform. The victim may be exposed and may encourage others to increase the humiliation.
Anger and Vengeance
The victims may be angry to the cyberbullies. With this, there is a huge tendency that they will hit back the cyberbullies in the cyberspace by commenting or posting nasty photos as well. Cyberbullying creates a boomerang effect in which the victim will copy the action as a form of revenge.
It may also resort to violence in which the victim may resort to hurting the cyberbully in person. There are many instances in the United States in which victims are reported to have attacked their bullies because of cyberbullying.
If they cannot tolerate the bullying, they will become stressed which will, later on, develop to depression. Depression is still the leading cause of suicide in the world. According to Web MD, 2 out of 100 young children are suffering major depression. One of the reasons for their depression is bullying.
Because the victims are being humiliated in the cyberspace, there is a huge tendency that they will develop low self-esteem. With this, they show disinterest in school, making friends, engaging in social activities, and building relationships, among others.
The effects of cyberbullying can negatively affect the performance of the victim. They tend to be less participative and sociable which leads to poor grades.
Stress can increase the person’s risk of chronic diseases, including heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes. If cyberbullying continues, the victim may show disinterest in life which will lead him or her to practice a sedentary life.
As mentioned earlier, victims of bullying have suicidal thoughts. These thoughts interfere their normal social, mental and physical functioning.