Cyberbullying is a major dilemma in today's society which is primarily affecting the youth. With the large amount of online users as well as the possibility of being anonymous on the internet, this is an relentless and enduring concern. Cyberbullying is defined as “the misuse of digital technologies or communications to bully a person or a group” which usually occurs through online messages or a demeanour that is deliberated to cause anxiety and humiliation. (Kidscape, n.d.) In this essay I will first examine the direct and indirect causes of cyberbullying. Second, I will discuss the main short and long-term effects, finally I will discuss the ways to counteract this issue.
One of the direct causes of cyberbullying is jealousy and envy towards someone's success. Ki young- Chos states that “cyberbullying occurs due to inner motives such as Jealousy and envy”. (.) Envy can be caused by competition. This is where bullying in sports usually emerges, but this is not restricted only to athletics. Children can be competitive in other things in their life such as grades, relationships and popularity. The aim behind their bullying demeanour is to demolish the competition. The bully believes that by destroying someone's success they will, in turn, make themselves feel better. (Gordon, 2019)
Another direct cause is Ignorance of the impact of one’s actions. The National crime prevention council reports that 81% said they believe other cyberbully in a teenage survey because they think it's funny. Cyberbullies may not realize how much damage they do because they don’t see the reactions of their victims in person and that leads to them not feeling any guilt while doing it. (Delete Cyberbullying)
One of the indirect causes is the ability of being anonymous on the internet. Solove say that it empowers the bullies to take actions without having to take responsibility. (Solove, 2016) The eligibility to stay anonymous has a direct impact on users' cyber behaviour. In a study done by Riders university department of psychology, it states that the anonymity empowers people to act and behave in a way that they wouldn’t have been doing in the public and it gives the bullies courage because they are hiding behind a screen. (…)
Another indirect cause is that they are provoked and finds revenge the only solution. Typically, when children experience bullying they tend to think that revenge will firstly make themselves feel better, “their motivation for these victims of bullying is to retaliate for the pain they have experienced” When these acts occur, these persons are Secondly that they have the right to do it.
One of the short term effects is that it could lead to distractions in the daily life. “Victims who endure frequent cyberbullying can experience a decline in academic performance, begin ‘acting out’ and some report difficulties at home”.(Peebles, 2014) This quote shows that victims of cyberbullying may be affected in terms of academic performance, several studies and proven statistics adds validity to the claim, In a study by UCLA of 2,300 students in eleven middle schools around Los Angeles found that a huge amount of bullying was affiliated with inferior grades throughout 3 years of middle school. (Hurley, 2018)
Another short term effect is emotional and psychical issues. Victims of cyberbullying described that they were having emotional and Behavorial difficulties.
One of the main long term effects is that when Bullying occurs over a long period of time it could lead to serious mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, chronic depression and it could get as serious as leading to suicide thoughts or even suicide attempts. (Hurley, 2018). According to CBS news new reports from the “Centers for Disease Control” revealed that the suicide scale for boys between the age of 15-19 has increased more than 30% (Duncan,2017)
Another long term effect is isolation, when the victims suffer from mental health over a long time can led to weakening effects on the ability to engage in healthy social interaction, for example, it can lead to that the victim isolate themselves from the public, detaching themselves from friends and family members. This doesn’t only affect the victim, but it affects family and friends as well. Moreover, the victim can come to a stage believing that if they interact with any another person, they will cause them what they previous have been victims of emotional harm and pain. (
Lastly a long term effect for the bully is the risk of developing miserable life. Cyberbullying could affect the bully's future, firstly they will be less likely to continue going to school, bullies tend to have bad grades throughout school and that will result to them being less likely to find a job and eventually having financial difficulties that will impact their mental health. Moreover, cyberbullies could be in the risk of going to jail if there is enough evidence.
In order to counteract this issue, we need to look at the long and short term solutions. For short term solutions we need to act and have the courage to defend the victims, according to “No bullying55% of all teens who is active on social media have witnessed some form of bullying” and 95% have ignored this demeanour. In the long- term there need to politically address this issue we need to implement stricter laws that will reduce the bully's courage towards cyberbullying. (Usa kaspersky, n.d.)
In conclusion, Cyberbullying is a serious dilemma that is increasing and is breaking the youth. Studies show more and more the negative effects of cyberbullying on the bully and the victim. It leads to emotional and physical issues and in the long term and it could even lead to suicide. Cyberbullying is a difficult issue to tackle and due to that it has been neglected, we need to handle and address this issue politically and in a more serious procedures, in order to counteract it we need to implement stricter laws that will reduce people's courage and interception towards cyberbullying.
- Delete Cyberbullying. (n.d.). Why do people cyberbully? Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.deletecyberbullying.org/why-do-people-cyberbully/
- Duncan, A. (2017, June 16). Suicide rates on the rise among teens. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suicide-rates-on-the-rise-among-teens/
- Gordon, S. (2019, November 21). Jealousy and envy fuel bullying, says expert. University of Wisconsin-Madison. https://news.wisc.edu/jealousy-and-envy-fuel-bullying-says-expert/
- Hurley, K. (2018, March 7). What is the long-term impact of cyberbullying? Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/long-term-effects-of-cyberbullying-460635
- Kidscape. (n.d.). Cyberbullying. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.kidscape.org.uk/advice/advice-for-young-people/cyberbullying/
- NoBullying. (n.d.). 55 percent of teens have witnessed bullying on social media. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://nobullying.com/social-media-bullying-stats/
- Riders University Department of Psychology. (n.d.). The power of anonymity on the internet. https://www.rider.edu/sites/default/files/docs/student_life/ccs_study_skills/Power%20of%20Anonymity%20on%20the%20Internet.pdf
- Solove, D. J. (2016). The power of the internet and the end of privacy. New York, NY: New York University Press.
- USA Kaspersky. (n.d.). Stop cyberbullying. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/stop-cyberbullying