By Joan Olivero
In recent years, there have been thousands of tragedies due to bullying. Recently, the main source of bullying is cyberbullying on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. As the internet has become one of the most important mediums in our everyday lives, the door for rude and harmful behavior is wide open.
Cyberbullying is a type of harassment in which people torment others, both during and after school hours, through various online platforms. With traditional bullying, kids can at least escape to their houses for the night and try to avoid vicious attacks until the next day. However, when someone is cyberbullied, the bullying follows them home and attacks them right through their devices. While some internet bullies choose to pick on people anonymously, others tend to make their presence and power known.
Cyberbullying can also take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. Several sources, like Very Well Family, have discussed that kids that experience cyberbullying are more likely to develop mental illnesses. Due to the stress of trying to defend themselves from the harassment, teens begin to show signs of anxiety that can later advance into a more severe case of depression. Their confidence often starts to diminish, and they are more likely to submit to the torment. Cyberbully victims can also experience stomachaches, headaches, nausea and sometimes more intense illnesses.
In January 2018, 12-year-old Gabriella Green from Panama Beach, Florida, took her own life because of cyberbullying. Two of her classmates confessed that they had tormented her in and out of school. The two girls, both 12 years old as well, were arrested in connection to the death of Gabi Green. The classmates, who remained unnamed, had stated that they were “only joking” when they had decided to start leaving hateful messages on her pages.
Many don't understand how to minimize or eliminate cyberbullying purely because they are not educated on the subject. The first step schools and parents could take to help shield their children from the effects of cyberbullying is learning more about it and its detrimental side effects. Administrators can then show students how serious the consequences are for participating in such behavior.
Cyberbullying is a big deal; thousands of kids and teens are impacted by it every day. A little bit of kindness, reassurance, and education could help in immeasurable ways.
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