Keys to understanding the phenomenon of cyberbullying

Today, anyone can become an anonymous abuser, who hides behind a mobile phone and harms someone’s life, image and integrity. This is why, nowadays, harassment is no longer limited to physical interactions, but can also exist in the virtual world of the Internet.

The term cyberbullying is contemporary in the digital ageso we invite you to know what it really means and what to do before that.

    What is cyberbullying?

    There is no precise definition of what this means, although we can approach the concept as an aggressive act that intends to inflict harm on a person who becomes a victim, through the use of technologyand more specifically, that linked to the world of ICT: social networks, chats, messaging platforms, etc.

      Why does this phenomenon occur?

      It has been proven that the strength of social validation by the media is an important factor, i.e. action becomes something meaningful when there is support from others.

      It even spreads outside the sector of origin, reaching people outside the conflict, which can be considered something “viral”.

      The reasons that push the aggressor to practice cyberbullying can be linked to:

      • Anonymity: the security of doing something without giving your number, your face, your data.
      • To feel superior to others.
      • Not realizing the repercussions of his actions.
      • I get rid of hostile instincts.
      • Approval of others.
      • Revenge of all kinds.

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        When does something qualify as “cyberbullying”?

        There are several characteristics knowing that what you or someone else is experiencing is cyberbullying:

        • It can be persistent.
        • It is difficult to detect, because there is not one culprit, but several.
        • Become anonymous.
        • It’s public.
        • This leads to mentally and socially hurting another person.

        What are the types of cyberbullying?

        These are the main variants of this type of attack:

        • Grooming: this occurs when a romantic relationship is established online, making the person believe that they have an emotional connection with someone, in order to manipulate or even abuse them. It becomes more common in children.
        • Phishing: It is classified as a cybercrime, in which a person creates a false identity of a legitimate institution in order to obtain sensitive data from victims and be able to defraud them.
        • Cyberbullying: this is the persecution of someone through the network, it can become harassment.
        • Trolling: Attackers generate conflict in hostile posts or comments on various platforms.
        • Happy Slapping: These are commonly posted videos where one can observe harassment and attacks on people that are recorded without their consent.
        • Framing: Occurs when someone destroys content that does not belong to them, claiming to be its creator.

        What happens emotionally when you are cyberbullied?

        Cybervictims were found to have:

        • feelings of anxiety
        • the Depression

        • suicidal thoughts
        • Stress
        • to fear

        • low self-esteem

        • Lack of confidence
        • feelings of anger
        • Frustration
        • feelings of helplessness
        • Nervousness
        • Irritability
        • somatizations
        • sleep disorders
        • Difficulty concentrating

        That they can be presented individually or collectively, but without a doubt they lead the person to loss of sanityit can even happen that there is a personality conflict, where the victim ends up doubting themselves so much that there is no going back to who they were.

        What happens on an emotional level when you engage in cyberbullying?

        Everyone thinks that the victim is the person most affected by this problem; however, one must be careful who does it, because apart from the reasons he has for doing it, things also happen at the intrapsychic level in the aggressor.

        Cyber ​​attackers tend to:

        • A higher likelihood of moral disconnection
        • Lack of empathy
        • Difficulties following the rules
        • Problems for his aggressive behavior
        • Criminal behavior
        • Alcohol and drug use
        • School absenteeism

        What should I do about cyberbullying if I am a victim of it?

        There is a list of recommendations you can follow if you suffer from this phenomenon:

        • Ignore: Abusers tend to need a response from the victim to continue their action.
        • Discuss it with an adult: you have to let people know what is happening to you.
        • Block the stalker: if there are a lot of people, delete them all.
        • Complaint: there are policies on the Internet where you can lodge a complaint, including on social networks.
        • Move towards therapeutic support: you must always let go of what has happened.

        What should I do if I need to help someone who is being cyberbullied?

        • Know that your response must be immediate: few people are able to ask for help, if someone trusts you, support them.
        • Respond immediately (does not mean hastily): you have to listen to the victim and find the best solution together.
        • Motivate him to report: it is necessary to report the aggressor at all times.
        • Get different perspectives: Convince him to talk about the problem with someone more professional, whether it’s his parents, psychologists, teachers or an authority.
        • The goal is to be able to restore your confidence.

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