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Cyber Bullying and Its Consequences


Do you know anyone who has been cyber bullied? Chances are, you do. A survey on cyberbullying administered to youth between 18 and 35 years old found that 68.4% of youth had experiences or known people who had experiences with various forms of cyber bullying.[1] To put this in perspective, almost 7 in 10 people you know would probably have experienced some sort of cyber bullying at one point or another.


Alarmingly, cyber bullying has become increasingly common in Singapore over the years. In 2008, cyber bulling was the least prevalent form of bullying within and between children and youth in primary school and secondary school.[2] By 2014, Wired Safety found that Singapore ranked 2nd, behind the United States, as the country with the highest incidence of internet bullying.[3]

 

Bullying has shown to have far-reaching consequences, negatively effecting emotions, self-perceptions, physical health, academic achievement, retaliatory violence, and suicide ideation.[4]

 

In the short term, feelings of anger, sadness, hurt, self-pity, confusion, embarrassment and loneliness are commonplace.[5] In the long-run, these negative emotions conjured in response to bullying can lead to victims feeling worried or afraid of school and potentially result in difficulty concentrating in class, avoiding school, and performing poorly in school. In addition, aggressive responses, self-harm[6], and in even more extreme case, suicide have occurred.

 

If you have a friend who is the bully, the best thing you can do for him would be to report his behaviour to someone able to influence him positively. Bullies have a higher propensity to practice anti-social behaviours and conduct in adulthood.[7] In addition, they are more likely to break the law as compared to non-perpetrators, bullying has been found to have a close connection with offences such as shoplifting, vandalism, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and family violence.[8]

References


[2] See Koh, C.W. and Tan, A. (2008). Bullying in Singapore Schools. Singapore Children’s Society Research Monograph 8.

[4] See Koh, C.W. and Tan, A. (2008). Bullying in Singapore Schools. Pp. 24

[5] Ibid.

[7] See Smokokowski, P.R. and Kopasz, K.H. (2005). Bullying in School: An Overview of Types, Effects, Family Characteristics and Intervention Strategies. Children and Schools, 27(2), 101-110

[8] See Ma, X., Stewin, L.L. and Mah, D.L. (2001). Bullying in School: Nature, Effects and Remedies. Research Papers in Education, 16(3), 247-270.

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