Cyber bullying refers to intimidation that happens through electronic devices such as cellphones, tablets and computers. Cyber bullying is also executed through communication platforms such as social media platforms, websites, online chat rooms, emails and short text messages. Cyber bullying can be in the form of mean messages sent via texts or email, posts on social media sites or emails circulating rumors, circulation of shameful pictures or video clips on social media and websites or developing fake online profiles. Children who are bullied in the cyber space are in most cases bullied physically and have a difficult time overcoming the behavior. Cyber bullying is different from physical bullying in the sense that it can be propagated throughout, round the clock, every day. It also has the potential to reach the child even when he is alone. Also, cyber bullying images and messages can sometimes be posted by an anonymous person and circulated to a huge audience within a very short time. It is hard, at times impossible to know the source. The big challenge though is that it is very difficult to retrieve inappropriate content or images after they are posted or uploaded.
How Cyber bullying affects Children
Like physical bullying, cyber bullying can have very negative effects on children. Children who are cyber bullied tend to abuse drugs and alcohol, stay away from school, experience physical bullying and perform poorly in school. Cyber bullying also has a negative effect in the child’s self-esteem and the can lead to health problems such as depression for the kid. The effects of cyber bullying can be more extreme because the child is bullied while at home where he or she should be most secure. It is also extremely harsh on the child as those bullying often say stuff that they ordinarily not say in person.