Bullying no longer remains just in the real world, the digital world has now been affected as well. Technology is now being used deliberately and repeatedly to harm others. Millions of children, teenagers and young adults around the world are experiencing this first hand, some are the bullies and some, the victims. Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. By definition, it occurs among young people. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail time. Cyberbullying is a huge problem, and the numbers are growing in schools and communities each year. With the increase of social media and internet use among people of all ages rising each year, cyber bullying cases continue to rise even more. There are many side effects of cyber bullying, and they vary from victim to victim.
Typically the lasting side effects of this type of bullying depends on the length of time the person is bullied combined with the intensity of the bullying. Side effects range all the way from mild depression and social anxiety to suicidal tendencies. Some of the side effects associated with cyber bullying include: Increased Depression, Lack of Interest in Hobbies, Poor Performance in School, Increased Anger and/or Hostility, Low Self-Esteem, Alcohol and Drug Problems, Suicidal Thoughts and Have more health problems. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting with friends and family, getting information, and for entertainment purposes. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people.
Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar. Many kids and teenagers who are cyberbullied are reluctant to tell a teacher or parent, often because they feel ashamed of the social disgrace, or because they fear their computer privileges will be taken away at home. The signs that someone is experiencing this vary, but a few things to look for are; signs of emotional distress during or after using the Internet or the phone, being very protective or secretive of their digital life, withdrawal from friends and activities, avoidance of school or group gatherings, slipping grades and “acting out” in anger at home or changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite, they may also unexpectedly stop using the computer or cellphone