Bullying, whether it’s face-to-face or cyber bullying, has negative effects on victims and survivors. They suffer physically, mentally, emotionally and their self esteem goes down. Some bullying targets become depressed and some of these attempt suicide. Here is Why is Bullying Bad for you and for everyone.
Why is Bullying Bad – the Effects on Kids
Children who are bullied experience physical complaints – they may begin to complain of stomachaches and/or headaches, according to Stop Bullying. In an attempt to avoid their bullies, some may use physical illness as a way of staying home from school, which leads to increased truancy.
As bullying targets continue to deal with their bullies, trying to avoid them, they may become so preoccupied with their situations that they begin to neglect their studies. Their grades go down – this includes test grades and performance on standardized testing. High school students who are bullied may eventually drop out of school – which is an extreme way of dealing with the situation.
Why is bullying bad? Let’s talk about that. Victims of bullying begin to experience anxiety and depression, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy. Because of bullying that took place in school, their depression may last into adulthood.
Bullied students may begin to believe the words and accusations of their bullies. Their self confidence and self esteem fall. Some students may turn to drug or alcohol usage, according to Stop Hatred Attitude in Schools. Other students may begin to cut themselves as well.
Why is Cyber Bullying Bad?
Cyber bullying has the potential of being a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week torture for students who are being targeted by cyber bullies. They can’t get away from the attacks, unless they disconnect completely from social networks and the Internet. Even on cell phones and smartphones, they are vulnerable.
Cyber bullying can take the form of spreading rumors, and a violation of trust, according to Pure Sight.
As they deal with the near-constant onslaught of online abuse, bullying targets begin to experience lowered self esteem, lower grades, depression, anxiety, anger, and/or suicide. Some of these students (38 percent) wanted revenge while 37 percent felt angry. Only 24 percent felt helpless, like they could do nothing to stop the bullying.
Students don’t understand just how permanent their Internet postings are. They believe that, if they delete it, it is gone. People can save, through screen shots, sexting photos. The words they post can come back to haunt them – or their victims, who continue to read, over and over, the words that have been said about them. Even though bullying targets know they should stop reading the abusive words, they can’t.
The Internet is worldwide – if an abusive rant about someone is posted in the U.S., someone in the U.K., Asia or the Middle East can read it, which leads to even more humiliation for the victim.
As soon as something is posted on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, it can spread through the victim’s home community, state, the U.S. and all around the world. This leads to familiarity – high schoolers know students from other schools in their communities, which means the bullies can embarrass the victim, not only in their own school, but in every other school in the community. Here are just a few emotional reactions cyber bullying victims can experience:
º Lack of ability to trust.
º Feelings are hurt.
º Lowered self esteem.
º Feeling sad.
º Getting frustrated.
º Increased anxiety.
º Feelings of fear.
º Depression – other mental issues can also develop.
º Getting angry.
As victims react emotionally, they may avoid social situations, withdrawing from their friends. They may begin to bully others as they attempt to regain control over their lives. Some bullying victims may attempt suicide, with some succeeding. Their families are left behind to realize just how bad the bullying had become.
Reasons Why Bullying is Bad
While some may minimize bullying (and cyber bullying), believing that it’s only a matter of immaturity that everyone involved will outgrow, the effects last long past the final bullying exchange.
Teens want to fit in; they want to be viewed positively as well. When they are being bullied or cyber bullied, they can’t achieve these goals. This is why bullying is bad – their peers begin to believe that the victim has done something bad, so they avoid them. The victim’s friends even begin to avoid them, believing that they may be next.
For some (Megan Meier or Ryan Halligan), the bullying got so bad that they felt they had no other alternative but to kill themselves. Here is a quote from a 14-year-old victim of cyber bullying: “They say sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That. . . is a lie and I don’t believe it. . . but those cuts and scars will heal. Insultive (sic) words hurt and sometimes take forever to heal.”
Why Cyber Bullying is Bad
Making threats against someone may not “seem” to be bad. “I was only pranking him.” Try telling that to the victim – they didn’t know whether their attacker was serious or not, according to NBC News’ Technotica.
The brain of a teenager is still developing, which means they are not yet capable of understanding the effects of what they say or do to another, in the name of “fun.”
In an extreme example, Eric Harris (one of the Columbine High School killers) posted death threats about one of his fellow students. The target’s parents reported the death threats to police, along with a tip that Harris and his friend were building bombs. Police didn’t follow up and the mass killings took place.
While school authorities and law enforcement want to catch every threat, they don’t want to overreact. Maybe they should overreact more often.