When cyber bullying occurs, it is usually followed by negative effects which sometime have dire consequences. The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey showed that 16% of students in grades 9-12 were cyber bullied in the past year. Additionally, the 2008-2009 School Crime Supplement showed 6% of students in grades 6-12 had encountered some form of cyber bullying. With access to so many tools that could potentially do harm, safety is a primary concern.
The effects of cyberbullying may not be noticeable at first, but the stress factor builds up over time. Many students experiencing cyber bullying feel alone and scared. In most instances, cyber bullying doesn’t start online, but in person. The situation then escalates. Some of the signs of cyber bullying could be:
Cyber bullying is a very serious matter. Students have taken their own lives because they felt pressured, embarrassed and felt they had no other alternatives. With so many technology devices available and the cyber world virtually unsupervised, there is a lot of room to someone to act maliciously. What to do if you’ve been cyber bullied? The first thing that usually has a positive impact is communication. If you’re a student, talk to an adult and explain how you’re feeling and what has been happening. If you’re a parent or adult, start random conversations about cyber bullying and what to do if it occurs, especially if you’re recognizing symptoms. Sometimes the student may not want to say anything in fear of the ramifications. By starting a healthy, non-threatening dialogue, it could make the difference between a positive or negative consequence. Other things that can be done:
Although cyber bullying is associated with negative implications, there are some positive outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an initiative to counteract cyber bullying. There are also many organizations that encourage healthy dialogue and offer solutions to situations that may occur. Here at Nobullying.com, we advocate for educating, advising and counseling individuals who are concerned with the effects of cyber bullying. Take a stand with us to fight for what’s right. Someone’s future depends on it.
If you want to know what to do about the effects of cyber bullying, here are five steps you can take to protect yourself and your family today to prevent such atrocities: