The Painful Aftermath of Cyber Bullying
Just because bullying takes place in the virtual world does not mean that your child is not emotionally or psychologically affected by it. Cyber bullying hurts as much as offline bullying, and sometimes even more.
Here are some signs and consequences of cyber bullying that can affect your kids.
- Avoidance of Technology
Similar to how your child will stay away from the playground where they were bullied, they may start avoiding the use of technology altogether if they were bullied online. In severe cases, your child may even develop technophobia which could deter them from progressing in this technological world.
- Avoidance of School
Bullying that takes place online may easily move offline as well. Victims of cyber bullying may choose truancy to avoid a face-to-face confrontation with online bullies, and evade embarrassment and humiliation that they were subjected to online. Some children may find that school has become overwhelmingly distressful for them and decide to withdraw altogether.
- Loneliness and Isolation
Cyber bullying that started out with only one bully may snowball into multiple perpetrators. Even close friends may turn against your kids, leaving them with feelings of loneliness and isolation that may invite more bullying. Exclusion can be extremely painful for them, especially when they are at the development stage of their lives.
- Poor Academic Performance
Like most bullying cases, cyber bullying victims often dread going to school, which may affect their school work and grades. Their constant fear of vulnerability also puts them in a state of paranoia and anxiety that takes their attention away from the lessons taught in class.
- Becoming Bullies Themselves
Cyber bullying may build up anger and vengeance within your child. To relieve the pain and hurt they had gone through, some victims may choose to become bullies themselves – to take revenge on bullies, or just vent their anger on another innocent person.
- Physical Health Problems
Cyber-bullied victims may experience stress that could result to a loss of appetite or binge eating to drown out the anxiety. They may suffer from insomnia and nightmares or sleep more than usual to escape from reality. All these could lead to serious health problems.
Studies have shown that children who have been bullied are prone to depression because of the damage on their self-esteem and confidence. This may lead to more bullying as bullies tend to pick on kids who are timid and are affected by their hurtful antics. Such psychological problems may even persist into adulthood.
- Suicidal Thoughts & Attempts
Sadly, cyber bullying does bring the risk of suicide among children, as concluded by case studies. Especially when cyber bullying can now take place at any time and any place, your child may start to believe that taking their own lives is the only way to escape from the bullies and pain.
Cyber bullying poses many different consequences that can cause problems for both you and your child. If these problems are left unattended, there is a possibility that they could spiral into something more serious. Seek help if your child is being cyber bullied before it is too late.