The use of technology to harass or bully another individual.
Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent, with the increasing use of modern technology. Mobile, internet and wireless technologies have increased the pace of communication and brought benefits to users worldwide. But their popularity provides increasing opportunity for misuse i ‘cyberbullying’, with worrying consequences. As technology develops, bullying techniques can evolve to exploit it. Advancements in technology meant that bullies could continue their torment when not near their victims.
Cyberbullying is not exclusive to children and teenagers. Bullying in the work place is common.
Adults try to be a little more deceptive than children when bullying. They will use work matters to try and cover their bullying. Email is now universal for business and bullies can use this to harass and intimidate victims at home or work anytime of the day.
Children often think that the more people listed in their phone contacts, email contacts or in their social media website friends list then the more popular they must be. They will often add friends of friends without thinking about the possible dangers.
Play time arguments can very easily spill over into the digital world. If a child has added friends of the person they have fallen out with then it is very easy for them to gang up on the victim. Children are less subtle when involved in arguments and will text or post offensive messages on social media websites without thinking first. As soon as arguments spill over to social media websites then messages are often made public making it easier for other people to get involved and matters to spiral out of control.
The increase in the popularity of online gaming with games consoles that allow gamers to communicate during the game can also be used to bully and victimize children.
Often children do not realise it is bullying.
Children may suddenly appear reluctant to go out to play or to go to school. They will sometime fake illness, or the stress and emotional turmoil can actually make them nauseous and ill.
They may suddenly appear nervous or agitated when using their mobile phone, computer or games console or avoid using them at all.
They may start showing signs of depression or emotional outbursts. These emotional outbursts may not be suddenly crying, they could well manifest as outbursts of anger or frustration directed at you over simple questions.
Look for the common signs of emotional turmoil (See list in What Is E-Safety.)
Contact your child’s school and speak to them. You can also contact Cybermentors.
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