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What causes cyber-bullying in schools

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What causes cyber-bullying in schools

This article will enlighten on the causes /influences of cyberbullying at schools.

What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Firstly, let’s get to know what cyberbullying means. Cyberbullying is spreading false or malicious information about someone using digital media and devices, such as websites, social media, text messages, and chats.

It is the most common online risk for teens, can occur to any young person online, and can cause psychosocial outcomes such as depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and even suicide.

It takes many forms and is incredibly harmful. Threatening messages, rumors, and embarrassing posts, pictures, or videos are all ways that bullies use to harm others. Moreover, anonymous fake profiles or websites are used to perpetrate cyberbullying. Public bullying can spread quickly across the internet or other media, causing immense damage. This video can give you an idea of how cyberbullying can spread quickly, much like a virus.

In a recent online pilot study, it was found that young individuals engaged in cyberbullying for various reasons. The study revealed that 72% of them posted without considering the possibility of hurting anyone, while 58% sought revenge against their target and believed that the person deserved it. Additionally, 28% of the participants found cyberbullying amusing or entertaining, and 21% wanted to embarrass their victims. Moreover, 14% of the respondents admitted to being cruel, 11% wanted to show off to their friends, and 16% had other motives for their actions. What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Causes of Cyberbullying

Although cyberbullying cyberbullying takes place in the digital realm, it has become more common among teenagers and in educational institutions because of the widespread use of smartphones. The following factors can contribute to cyberbullying in schools:

Technology accessibility:

In today’s world, technology and social media usage are prevalent. With advanced information and technology accessing tools, anyone with a mobile phone or laptop can access the current level of technology from the comfort of their home. Even novice individuals who have heard of cyberbullying rumors can undergo online classes for cyber-bullying cyberbullying. As a result, people, especially students, are at risk of being cyber-bullied even for the slightest mistake.

Lack of Supervision:

The rise of cyberbullying is alarming and requires close supervision of online activities by parents and guardians. It is crucial to remain vigilant of students who isolate themselves, as they may be involved in such harmful conduct. The repercussions of cyberbullying can be grave.

Mental problem:

It is imperative to acknowledge that some students who encounter anxiety, depression, feelings of inferiority, sadness, or alcoholism may engage in activities as a way to cope with their emotions. Sadly, cyberbullying can worsen these already concerning issues. Hence, it is crucial to confront and prevent cyberbullying to provide support and assistance to students in need.

Ignorance:

It is commonly said that “ignorance can be a slow but profound killer,” and some bullies may be oblivious to the damage they’re inflicting. Frequently, they are swayed by their social circle and behave in ways that please their peers without considering the impact on their victims.

Social Dynamics:

The social environment within a school undeniably plays a crucial role in the occurrence of cyberbullying. When students feel ignored, isolated, or left out, they may resort to cyberbullying as a means to assert their power or attract attention. Conversely, students who are seen as different or marginalized can easily become targets of cyberbullying. This group includes students with disabilities, different races or ethnicities, or unique religious beliefs. The consequences of cyberbullying can worsen their exclusion and further alienation.

Anonymity:

When students are anonymous online, they may feel emboldened to engage in cyberbullying without fear of consequences. This can lead to hurtful language and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, anonymity makes it harder for parents and teachers to identify the perpetrator and take action.

What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Types Of Cyber-bullying

It is imperative to know the various tactics that cyberbullying perpetrators may use. These tactics include sending hurtful text messages, making online threats, sharing unauthorized photos, posting hateful comments or speech, attempting to infect a computer with a virus, flooding an email inbox with messages, disseminating harmful material, and using other digital technologies to engage in social aggression. By understanding these common tactics, we can ensure better protection for ourselves and others against the detrimental effects of cyberbullying. Below are types/forms of cyberbullying.

Cyberstalking: A bully engages in persistent and severe mistreatment, belittlement, or intimidation toward their victim, resulting in the victim feeling scared and vulnerable.

Cyberthreats: a bully makes threatening remarks on the internet or implies violent behavior. It can also be threatening with suicide.

Flaming: Bullying behavior through various online mediums such as emails, instant messages, chat rooms, or comments can escalate conflicts. These individuals often resort to using aggressive language towards a specific person, which only serves to initiate or worsen the situation.

Denigration: When someone spreads false rumors about a person to damage their reputation, it is called denigration. This can also happen online through the act of “dissing” someone.

Masquerading/impersonation: Bullying can manifest in the guise of an individual fabricating a false persona to relentlessly harass someone without revealing their true identity. In this scenario, the perpetrator may assume another person’s identity to send harmful messages or disseminate content to cause harm, trouble, or damage to the target’s reputation or relationships.

Trickery: a bully tricks someone to share private information or photos with them and then shares this online.

What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Signs of Cyber-bullying

  1. Feeling uneasy or restless while using text messaging or social media:

    Keep your child’s electronic devices in frequently accessed areas to monitor their usage and potentially reduce excessive anxiety.

  2. Feeling upset or frustrated after using the internet or playing games:
    If you’ve witnessed your child in a fit of rage while using their device, to the point where they abruptly shut it or even throw it, this could be a red flag. They may be doing this to shield themselves from bullies.
  3. Reluctance to discuss or reveal details of their online accounts and activities:

    Bullying online is a serious issue. It’s important to be aware of signs of increased secrecy, as victims may keep it hidden, especially from their parents. You can take steps to safeguard your children by creating a family agreement that outlines guidelines for their online accounts and passwords. This will not only protect them from bullying but also provide them with peace of mind as parents.

  4. Continuous weight changes or difficulty in eating:
    Parents should be aware that bullying can have serious physical consequences for their children, potentially leading to a variety of health-related issues. It is crucial to pay attention to any persistent symptoms and seek appropriate medical attention to ensure their child’s overall well-being.

  5. Trouble sleeping at night or sleepy during the day:
    A significant consequence of cyberbullying is the restlessness it induces in children, which can hamper their ability to fall asleep. This lack of sleep can then impair their focus during the school day, making it more challenging for them to handle schoolwork and socialize with their peers.
  6. Loss of interest in favorite activities:
    If your child suddenly loses interest in their favorite sport or hobby, they may be experiencing cyberbullying. They may be attempting to avoid those who are belittling them or conforming to the expectations of others. It is imperative to engage in a conversation with your child and encourage them to pursue activities that bring them happiness, rather than attempting to satisfy others.

  7. Child suddenly seems anti-social:
    If you observe your child isolating themselves in their room frequently and displaying signs of unhappiness, it may indicate a concerning situation. One way to boost their mood and improve their mental state is to plan a family outing or game night to encourage them to come out of their room. This will also reassure your child that your family is a reliable source of support during difficult times.

What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Ways to stop Cyber-bullying

It’s important to take action against cyberbullying as soon as possible. Although it may eventually stop on its own, the public and viral nature of cyberbullying can cause significant harm if left unchecked. Waiting too long can lead to prolonged exposure and serious consequences. Seeking outside support, such as reporting the offending content to the social media platform and informing the cyberbully of the consequences or involving parents and teachers, is the best course of action. By taking decisive steps, we can help prevent cyberbullying from causing further harm.

Below are ways you can stop/prevent cyber-bullying;

  • Internet safety :

Being safe online is important and involves taking precautionary measures. It requires individuals, including children and youth, to have knowledge, skills, and information that will help them stay safe while using the internet and online technologies. This includes protecting their personal information, passwords, and privacy, and safeguarding themselves against security risks and cybercrime.

  • Digital citizenship is an expression of the norms of appropriate, responsible use of technology.

Cyberbullying is directly related to issues like digital security, manners, rights and responsibilities, and health and wellness. These abilities are the main emphasis of many initiatives designed to combat cyberbullying.

  • Digital etiquette or netiquette:

This is a fresh word that blends the ideas of networking, the internet, and manners. It refers to the norms of online communication and online etiquette. Common decency online as well as unofficial do’s and don’ts of cyberspace are covered by netiquette.

 

  • Respect, educate and protect (REPs):

This is another popular concept closely connected to digital citizenship that is often used in cyberbullying prevention. It is a way to present nine elements of digital citizenship in a way that is appropriate even for very young learners (from kindergarten level onwards).

 

  • Getting yourself educated:

Learn about the social media sites that your child is using and educate yourself on the many types of cyberbullying if you want to know how to stop it.

  • Develop a Reporting aspect:

Students frequently hesitate to report classmates who are engaged in cyberbullying out of fear of the unknown. Cyberbullying can be greatly reduced in classrooms where students have been educated about it and encouraged to report incidents. Therefore, schools should encourage kids to inform a teacher or administration when they witness online bullying. This can be done through alternative channels or anonymous reporting platforms.

What causes cyber-bullying in schools

Conclusion

To prevent cyberbullying, parents and educators must be aware of these potential risk factors. This can involve educating and training students in proper online conduct, keeping an eye on their online activity, supporting struggling students with mental health needs, and strictly punishing offenders. Students frequently hesitate to report classmates who are engaged in cyberbullying out of fear of the unknown. Cyberbullying can be greatly reduced in classrooms where students have been educated about it and encouraged to report incidents. Therefore, schools should encourage kids to inform a teacher or administration when they witness online bullying. This can be done through alternative channels or anonymous reporting platforms.

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