Cyberbullying in 2020
Bullying has been a part of life since people first started living in sedentary communities.
For some reason, people have always found it comforting to put other people down, even if the comments they make are mean and hurtful.
This can help explain why, in 2020, 73 % of students feel they have been bullied in their lifetime, and why 44 % say it has happened in the last 30 days.
However, the emergence of and universal adoption of social media has opened the door for a new type of bullying: cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices such as cell phones, computers, and tablets that allows people to view, participate and share content.
A Growing Problem in 2020
Cyberbullying is a real problem in today’s society. Consider that overall, 37% of people feel they have been cyberbullied in their lifetime, and 18% has reported it has happened in the last 30 days! 87 % of young people have seen cyberbullying occurring online, (see McAfee blog)
A Persistent Problem
95% of teens are connected to the internet. In some respects, this is good. It means more and more kids are gaining access to the knowledge and information available on the internet
However, it also increases their exposure to potentially harmful interactions, specifically, cyberbullying.
In school, bullying has traditionally been seen as a part of life. Most people have always thought of bullying as nothing more than “kids being kids.
However, this is quite simply not true. Instead, it’s an excuse to ignore a real problem and to avoid trying to solve it. In a survey conducted by over three-quarters of kids 77 % to be exact said that bullying, and more specifically, cyberbullying, is a part of growing up.
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A Larger Societal Problem
It’s not just children and teenagers who get cyberbullied. There is some evidence to suggest that cyberbullying also goes on amongst adults. However, cyberbullying is often called something else when it’s done to adults, such as harassment, or sometimes even stalking.
To give you an idea as to how prevalent these problems are, know that 16% of women and one in 19 men have been stalked at some point in their lifetime.
Four in ten Americans have experienced some form of online harassment.
Also, consider that In Australia, around 10% of adults admit to having been victims of cyberbullying. In the U.S., 40% of adults have personally experienced some form of online harassment and 75% of adults have seen cyberbullying occurring around them.
These numbers are troubling. They show that cyberbullying is not only pervasive but that it doesn’t go away as we get older.
It should be clear that cyberbullying is a large problem in today’s society.
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Is your child bullied?
If your child is being bullied, the impacts can be long-lasting.
If you feel like your child might be bullied, the best thing to do is to sit down and talk to them. In a very calm manner and make it, so they’re a team member in this. The better relationship you have with your children, the more likely they are to open up to you about these things.
Bullying can cause depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
On the other hand, it’s important for parents to check in on if their child could be behind the bullying.
One thing parents should look out for as well as teachers and school staff are signs of a bully. If you’re worried if your child may be bullying others, some signs you can look for are problems at school; early substance use can be a sign, aggressive behaviour, getting in a lot of fights, blaming everybody else for all of their problems.
For kids at school who see someone being bullied, a good place to start is by being kind. Going out of your way to know that person who is hurting, is cared for.
The best thing you can do for other kids, if you notice someone who is exhibiting symptoms we talked about, they’re very lonely, they don’t have any friends, or not getting engaged. Be nice, go sit with the kid that’s sitting alone at the lunch table. Strike up a conversation, see if there’s common ground. who knows, maybe you both like European soccer teams.
People need to be cognizant on people around them who may have a mental condition.
Experts say that bullying can have both short-term and long-term impacts.
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