According to a simple search on Google, we have realized that Australia is the third most searching country for the term Cyberbullying. In one month, Google recorded 33400 searches for the term cyberbullying, not to mention traffic stemming from searches for terms such as bullying help, cyber bullying help, what is cyberbullying and cyber bullying statistics.
It is also important to know that in Australia, the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old which means that is someone is 10 years old or above, they could be held criminally responsible for their actions.
- According to Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au), 91% of Australian teens age 14-17 get on the Internet at least once a week, mainly to check social media sites like Facebook or to talk to their friends through emails or messaging.
- Of those who reported being bullied, 83% said they were cyberbullied by people that they not only knew personally, but who they considered to be their friends.
- 40% of youths under the age of 18 worry about receiving hostile or demeaning texts, emails, or messages.
Cyber bullying is generally defined as bullying tactics used against an individual using the internet, cell phones or other technologies.
Cyber bullying differs from conventional bullying in that the harassment or torment is not done in the victim’s physical presence.
Cyber bullying facts provided by sites such as www.dosomething.com show us that cyber bullying is done virtually by means of social media sites, gaming sites, chat rooms and text messaging. Although there is no physical abuse involved, cyber bullying has proven to be just as emotionally damaging to victims as physical bullying. Many believe that cyber bullying is more emotionally damaging because the bully has unlimited access to their victims. One of the best ways to counteract cyber bullying is to educate yourself concerning cyber bullying facts.
So what are the most noted effects of cyber bullying, when it happens?
In a survey conducted by www.stopcyberbullying.org, victims of Cyber bullying responded in the following methods:
Thirty-six percent asked the bully to stop.
Thirty-four percent blocked communication.
Thirty-four percent talked to friends about the bullying.
Twenty-nine percent did nothing about the bullying.
Twenty-eight percent signed offline.
Only 11 percent of teens talked to parents about incidents of Cyber bullying.
Short Term Effects of Being Bullied
Kids that are bullied are more likely to skip school in an effort to avoid having to encounter their nemesis and experience the emotional, psychological and physical effects of being bullied. It is estimated that as many as 160,000 students skip school nationally on any given day out of fear of facing a bully that has, in some way, been terrorizing them.
Bullied kids are more likely to get sick. Children who are being bullied are more likely to report feeling sick with some common symptoms being sore throat, cough, headache, stomach ache, and stuffy nose. These symptoms are not psychologically manifested, they are very real repercussions produced psychosomatically. Dr. Adrienne Nishina, Assistant Professor of Human Development at UC Davis, explains this physiological process. “Research with youth and adults shows that negative social interactions are experienced as particularly stressful. Stress causes the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol impairs immune system functioning, leaving the individual more vulnerable and less able to combat physical illnesses.”
Bullied Teens are more likely to use alcohol as a coping mechanism which normally causes the teen to become more aggressive toward others. It is not uncommon for a child that was bullied in middle school or high school to ultimately become a bully later on in the academic process. Many kids that are bullies in college were bullied in middle school and high school.
Long Term Effects of Being Bullied
People who were bullied as children are more likely to develop psychological issues as adults. Children who were bullied from the 6th-9th grade are more likely to become depressed by the time they reach the age of 23. Also, people who have memories of being teased as a child are more likely to experience depression, pathological perfectionism, social anxiety, and a greater neurotic ism in their adult years.
People who were bullied during their childhood years are more likely to be bullied in the workplace. Unfortunately, many people who were victimized as children in a school environment often find themselves being the victim of workplace bullying as well. If fact, nearly 60% of people that are bullied at work admit to having been bullied as a child.
Why should you be worried about Cyber Bullying?
Because once anything is online, it is very hard to erase it or remove it.
Because with the advent of social media networks, any negative comment or post is widely shared among others in a matter of minutes which multiplies the negative effects on the victim in no time.
Yes it can, all you need to do is install kindness and good citizenships wherever you go, encourage your mates, friends, colleagues and community members to spread positive remarks and comments and to not be a bystander when they see any cyber bullying act.