No matter what form it is, bullying can cause serious emotional and psychological distress to the one being bullied. Recently, with the emergence of technology, the existence of cyberbullying has been more felt than before. Thus, there must be a delivery of cyberbullying education in the digital world by focusing on where such behavior occurred.
Just like any other victim of bullying, kids who have been cyberbullied experience anxiety, fear, depression, and low self-esteem. They may even experience physical symptoms, and they tend to struggle academically. The victims of cyberbullying also experience some other unique consequences and ill feelings. The following are some of the feelings that cyberbullied kids experience:
- They feel overwhelmed. Being a target by cyber bullies is something that crushes a kid’s morale. This is true especially if there are a lot of kids that are participating in the bullying. This makes them feel like the whole world know what is going on and the stress of dealing with cyberbullies can make the kid feel like they are in a situation that they can’t handle.
- They feel vulnerable and powerless. Kids who are victims of cyberbullying often find it hard to feel secure. Usually, this is because bullying can invade the victim’s home through the computer or mobile phone at any time of the day. Because of this, they will feel that they will no longer have a safe place where they can escape. To the bullied child, he or she will feel like bullying is everywhere. Moreover, because of the fact that the bullies’ can remain anonymous, this situation can increase the feeling of fear to the victim. The kids who are being targeted by the bullying have no idea who is the person inflicting the pain, even so, there are still some cyberbullies who are choosing people that they know.
- They feel exposed and humiliated. Because of the fact that cyberbullying occurs in the cyberspace, this online bullying feels permanent. These kids know that once something is being released out there, it will remain to be out there. When cyberbullying occurs, this is accompanied by nasty posts, messages or texts which can be shared with a lot of people. This kind of feeling where the kid knows that there are a lot of people who know about what is being spread against him can lead him to feel intense feelings of humiliation.
- They feel unsatisfied with who they are. The cyberbullies attack their victims in areas where the victim is most vulnerable. Because of this, the victim will then start to doubt their worth and value. They may even respond to this by inflicting harm to themselves in some way. A good example is when a girl is being called fat, this might make the girl go into crash diets with the hope that if she loses weight, then her bullies might stop bullying her. There are also times wherein the victims will try to change her physical appearance or how she acts along with the hope that she will be able to eventually avoid cyberbullying.
- They feel angry and vengeful. Those who are victims of cyberbullying will tend to feel angry because of what is happening to them, and because of that, they will want to plot an act of revenge and employ in retaliation. This is a dangerous approach because this will keep them locked in the bully-victim cycle. Therefore, it is better that the victim will learn to forgive the bully than to get even. This might be difficult to make, but forgiveness is one way for the victim to help him or her to truly recover from the bullying.
- They feel disinterested in life. When the victim is currently being cyberbullied, these victims will often relate to their surroundings differently. There might be some victims who will feel that their life is hopeless and meaningless. They will tend to lose interest in the things that they are once interested in doing and will shy away to spending time with his or her family and friends. There are even cases when the victim suffers to depression which can lead to suicidal thoughts.
- They feel alone and isolated. Another effect of cyberbullying is that the teen becomes excluded and ostracized at school. This is a very painful experience for the victim because having friends is one of the essential things during his or her age. So, when kids do not have friends, this can result in an increase in bullying. So when a kid is a victim of cyberbullying, most of the people surrounding him or she will advise to shut down her computer or her mobile phone. But, with teens nowadays, this can mean that their communication with the world is being cut off. Teens nowadays consider their phones and computers to be on one of the most important as their means of communication with others. So, such option of communication is being removed, then they can feel that they are secluded out of the world.
- They feel disinterested in school. The victims of cyberbullying often have a higher rate of absenteeism at school than those kids who are not being bullied. This is because the victims will choose to skip school rather than face the person who is cyberbullying him or her. They might even feel embarrassed and humiliated by the messages that were being shared with almost everyone. Their grades or academic performance will also be going to suffer because they will find it hard to concentrate or study because they feel anxious and stress about the bullying that is happening to him or her. There are even cases that the victim will suddenly drop out of school and then lose interest in the continuance of their education after high school.
There are still many other factors which might give a negative effect on the child who is being victimized by cyberbullying. Thus, if you are planning to enroll your child to another school, or the child’s existing school, you should see to it there are strong cyberbullying prevention measures in place, and that the school have the best CCTV and other facilities to monitor student activity.