In society today, cyber bullying takes a large spot in many schools, towns, and places. Children and teens are often too afraid to say mean or rude things to another face to face, so they use the internet through social media. The trends and hashtags running the internet from day to day have ruined the self-esteem of many children and teens around the world. It needs to stop. No child should look at their social media only to find an account with a blank face and a fake name, or even someone that they considered to be their friends, tearing them down emotionally or mentally.
The effects of cyber bullying can be detrimental. Cyber bullying can cause depression, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and in extreme cases, suicide or suicidal thoughts. Adolescence is a tender time for many children and teens, and cyber bullying has the tendency to be very harmful to the growth and development emotionally, mentally, and socially. The stress placed on children who are bullied can actually have effects on their health. It can cause headaches, stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is often seen as just kids being kids, and it is ignored.
Depression is a very serious mental illness in any individual, but it can be worse in children and teens. A person is more likely to develop depression in their adolescent years due to their vulnerability and naivety. An adolescent goes through many changes during this time both physically and mentally. They begin to grow up and become more independent. Their body changes, and may cause them to look different from their peers, and this opens them up as a target for bullies. Cyber bullying is the most common cause of depression in young people. A cyber bully may tell a child that they don’t belong, that they are strange or weird, and even sometimes that they should die. Consequently, the child develops depression, and it is hard to work their way back out of it. Many times, depression can limit the effort and success of a child in their own lives.
If a child or teen constantly experiences cases of cyber bullying, then they begin to fear going out with friends, going to school, and going to their after school functions. This is often because they worry about what others will think of them. Appearance is a big deal when it comes to the values of an adolescent. Children and teens are very judgmental, and their peers always want to look their very best to incite a wonderful impression. Constant worrying and fear is often diagnosed as anxiety. Children and teens face anxiety in social situations quite often. They worry about simple things like why one of their peers didn’t acknowledge them at a restaurant, or why that person has better clothes than they do. This is shown in cyber bullying by a child surfing their media comments and posts to see if anyone has said anything about them online.
When a cyber-bully makes rude or mean comments about or to a child on the internet, it can cause some self-esteem issues. Many times, a child is told that they are ugly, that they have no friends, or that nobody likes them, and this can cause a child to feel as if they are less than what they truly are. Low self-esteem is a very common result of cyberbullying, and can be highly toxic to a child’s social life and their mental well-being. Many children and teens face low self-esteem every day, and it causes them to view themselves as unworthy of attention or love, and it makes them constantly think that they are not good enough for anything.
Teens have a very high suicide rate, and this is often a consequence of cyber bullying. This runs hand in hand with low self-esteem. Children and teens see that others do not agree with their opinions, that others think that they look ugly, and that others think that everyone hates them, so they become depressed and begin to believe these things themselves. After so long of others telling them that they do not deserve to live, they tell themselves that maybe their peers are right. Then, they decide that yes, their peers are right. They don’t have any reason to live. They tell themselves that suicide is the only option, the best way out.
Cyber bullying can even have an effect on a student’s school work and grades. When the child is focused more on their bully and attempting to prevent the bullying, they lose focus on keeping up their grades as well as making a good effort. The student may avoid school all together, which can cause them to lose graduating credits or go to court for absence. The child may not want to participate in any after school activities like clubs or sports programs, which can cut their social life severely. This can have very negative consequences later in their lives. It can hold them back from getting a sustainable job and succeeding in life.
Cyber bullying is very serious, and it has many repercussions. It gives the victim depression, fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem, while it gives the bully a rush of power. The effects of cyber bullying can be harmful to say the least. In the adolescent mind, even the smallest comment could be viewed as the end of the world. The victims of cyber bullying are often torn down for the benefit of the bully’s ego. In many cases, the bully is concealed by a fake profile, or they simply feel more powerful because they are hidden by a computer screen. This is not any reason to bully a person, much less a child. A child can often feel powerless when they do not know who is bullying them. Therefore, they do not alert any adults to their situation.
Cyberbullying can create a seemingly impossible situation to handle, and can force the child into silence. This needs to end.