The World Wide Web contains information that sends out positive as well as negative signals. In the life of a student, the internet acts as a medium of resource providing him information on thousands of topics at a single click. However, it also opens a door to virtual communication which when misused amounts to cyber bullying. These days, internet is not just a part of studies but also a part of social activities like emailing, chatting, and gaming. As bullying in real life includes abuse treatment of students by older peers, cyber bullying is the virtual version of it. It includes the use of communication technologies like emails, chat, social networking sites, and videos, to send hurtful, rude, and mean messages to others. This is not a one-time action, but a deliberate continuous process to harm, embarrass, make fun, and humiliate co-students.
Cyber bullying has a very profound effect on the affected student, which is perceived in his unwillingness to go to school or college, dip in grades, low self-esteem, and health problems. In the long term, young students who have been cyber bullied are more found to be drug addicts or skip school.
How students are cyber bullied at school or college:
- Harassment through hateful or threatening messages, sometimes thousands of them to gang up on a kid.
- Stealing passwords of email accounts, social networking sites, and start chatting with people he otherwise does not know. He may abuse the other person, pass racist remarks, or send harmful viruses through the victim’s account.
- Setting up blogs to upload degrading information of the victim. Sometimes other kids too join the blog to write false, disgracing comments on the victim.
- Similar to blogs, students also set up websites to tease or insult the victim. They may pass harmful remarks or post pictures of the victim that may endanger the child.
- The bullying person may mass email or message nude or derogatory images of the victims to other students leading to mental and sexual embarrassment.
- Students set up polls on the web such as who is the ugliest student or who is the fattiest student, to offense is and bully the kid.
- Many students will send their victims emails that are virus infected so that their computers can be hacked. In addition, they may sign up the students account on porn sites and IM marketing sites.
How to stop / prevent Cyber bullying:
- Do not share photos and videos that are embarrassing with others.
- Set privacy settings to social networking accounts and be aware of who you are sharing your information with.
- If you are cyber bullied, talk with a friend, adult, parent, or some one you can trust. If someone has been victimized, refuse to be a part of the crime.
- Save emails, chat messages and screenshots of instances when you have been cyber bullied. Record time, date, and descriptions of cases when cyber bullying has occurred.
- Report instances of cyber bullying to school or college, whether the victim is you or some other student.
- Take help of counselors and health professionals to deal with and relive the emotional scars of cyber bullying.