Bullying has existed for centuries. From schools to social gatherings, and even at home, people have bullied one another. As the Internet becomes more accessible through mobile devices, bullying has even taken on a new form.
Different people use the internet for different things. Many professionals grow their careers online, students find online essay writing services to help them with schoolwork, while some individuals use their internet access to harm others. In this article, we will discuss cyberbullying and its effects on an individual.
The Reality of Cyberbullying
Who is a cyberbully?
A cyberbully is any individual who harasses other people online. Cyberbullying is not gender-specific, as both males and females are equally likely to bully others online. This harassment can take many forms, such as hateful comments, threats, aggressive behaviors, blackmail, and breaching other online users' privacy.
How bad is cyberbullying?
Individuals of all ages are vulnerable to this issue. For the victims, the effects of cyberbullying can be overwhelming. Records of tragic events, such as self-mutilation and suicide as a result of cyberbullying, exist.
Research shows that 59% of teenagers in the U.S have experienced cyberbullying. This is not unrelated to the increase in the rates of suicide in young people. A study in 2018 found that individuals 25 years and below, who were victims of cyberbullying, were 100% more likely to attempt suicide. These statistics point to a dire need for real-world solutions to this online issue.
How cyberbullying affects individuals
1. Low self-esteem
Cyberbullying affects the self-esteem of victims. Individuals who have been abused online can become self-conscious and start to have low self-esteem. This is especially true when such harassments are aimed at their physical appearances and looks.
Teenagers and young adults who have been “trolled” because of their appearances may start to dislike their bodies. This will translate to these individuals seeing themselves as less appealing to others. They may start to feel ashamed to show up in public or socially interact with others.
Both victims and cyberbullying offenders have considerably lower self-esteem than the average person. This shows that cyberbullying cuts both ways. Since the feel-good factor is short-lived, nobody benefits from cyberbullying in the end.
2. Dropping grades
The effects of cyberbullying will often manifest in all aspects of an individual's life. For students, this can be evident in their grades. Cyberbullies and their victims often begin to do poorly in school.
This is attributed to a loss of interest in activities they once derived pleasure in. Individuals experiencing cyberbullying may stop reading. Others may generally put in little effort into their schooling, thereby setting themselves up for academic failure
Cyberbullying victims often fall prey to various conditions that are related to stress. Anxiety and depression are just a few of those conditions. When victims start losing confidence in themselves, it hurts their mental health.
When you consider that many cyberbullying victims do not speak up for fear of further ridicule, it's easy to see why they may start feeling alone and depressed. Additionally, bearing the burden of online bullying leaves them unhappy. When an individual faces sadness and discontent, they may become depressed over time.
4. Chance of falling ill
The stress that comes with being cyberbullied can cause a person to fall sick. Insomnia, headaches, chest pain, and other physical complications can directly stem from experiencing online harassment. This stress can also lead to skin complications and breakouts, which further erodes the self-esteem of the individual.
Victims might develop eating disorders as a coping mechanism. They might lose weight or binge eat if they have been told that they look too thin. These actions have adverse health implications.
5. Suicidal Inclinations
One of the causes of bullying online is when a person tries to get revenge for facing harassment. Sadly, vengeance does not help. It only leads to more cyberbullying.
Research indicates that cyberbullying may encourage suicidal tendencies in some victims. It brings a feeling of hopelessness. When constantly harassed online, individuals may start to see death as the only escape.
Cyberbullying—irrespective of preventive measures—continues to exist in 2020. The effects range from mild irritation to mental health issues and even worse. Noticing the signs, communicating, and reassuring cyberbullying victims of their worth and safety can help to prevent this in the long run.
About the Author:
Amanda Dudley is a top-level editor at EssayUSA. Her experience as a writer has given her the required expertise to work on complicated tasks. Amanda also heads a team of professional writers dedicated to providing unparalleled quality in terms of content.