Hiding behind a screen

Dangerous effects of cyberbullying


Stop Bullying

Cyberbullying leaves people feeling alone, and as if they are unable to talk to anyone about what is happening.

Leannah Messenger, Editorial Editor

Technology has taken over the lives of most students in America as well as across the world, and it is involved in every aspect of daily life. From social media to simple messaging systems, technology has shaped the way people see themselves and the world around them. However, technology comes with its drawbacks because people feel powerful when hiding behind a screen. Cyberbullying is one of these drawbacks, and it is an issue that can be very dangerous and should not be tolerated. Cyberbullying takes a major toll on mental health and can happen to anyone, at any time. It is an endless, vicious cycle that leaves one with no relief. 

Social media is constant, and students partake in it almost every day. Cyberbullying can come in many different forms like hateful commenting, negative content, the sharing of negative content, inappropriate text messages and so much more. Social media sources like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok see hate comments and cyberbullying every day. This leads cyberbullying to be very dangerous because it can be almost undetectable. According to StopBullying, this type of bullying is persistent, permanent and hard to notice. This means that cyberbullying is continuous, leaving many without relief, permanent, public and hard to detect.

One hateful comment can hurt someone for a lifetime, and take a significant toll on their mental health. People post comments that are embarrassing, threatening and can even go as far as telling someone to harm themselves. Many people who are part of a minority group or the LGBTQ+ community face online bullies every day, and this kind of bullying can take on a truly ruthless form. Some people make fake accounts used just to post hurtful comments, or private accounts so they can hide behind a fake facade. These “haters” have no regard for how their comments will make someone feel, and they say things online that they would never say face-to-face. Online bullying is easy to do and being that it is all behind a screen, it can be easy to say something before second-guessing that decision. According to StopBullying, those being bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and mental distress. Bullying, in general, can harm mental health, but the signs of cyberbullying can be so hard to identify that it can be even more dangerous because it is endured for long periods. Cyberbullying can happen to anyone by anyone.

Cyberbullying can be hard to notice at first, and overall can take a major toll on one’s mental health. However, there are ways to prevent cyberbullying, and more quickly notice the signs. Being aware of what you are watching and interacting with online is one way to stop cyberbullying from the source. Some signs of cyberbullying include withdrawal from online sources, less frequent interactions, hiding screens when others are near and losing interest in other activities. Being aware of the warning signs of online bullying is the first step in prevention, and from there spreading awareness is a must. Monitoring online applications and software, as well as reporting cyberbullying to online service providers or trusted adults is another step towards prevention. Online bullying cannot be overlooked or tolerated in any case, and when signs are shown or change is noticed, action should be taken. Cyberbullying is preventable, but it takes contribution from everyone.