Cyberbullying is a pertinent issue that kids face in today’s day and age. There are many reasons behind this and why cyberbullying is a nuance that needs to be understood and addressed by parents and kids alike. This article throws light on this issue and helps us understand the what and the why behind cyberbullying. Read on.
Bullying isn’t anything new, but these days you’re more likely to hear about cyberbullying from your kids than any other form of bullying. If you want to help them protect themselves, understanding why kids cyberbully is essential.
Here are some of the reasons why children use the internet to hurt other children:
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1. They Think They Won’t Get Caught
When you were a kid, there was always the risk of the bully being caught by an adult. These days online, it’s easy for a cyberbully to believe that they’re anonymous. They usually use online spaces that the adults in their life don’t, so they won’t think that they’re at risk of being caught.
Additionally, they’re not bullying another child face to face. As such, they won’t see their reaction. Some children will engage in bullying this way, as they can say and do things that they wouldn’t in real life.
2. They Have No Empathy For The Victim
Arguably children who bully in real life also have no empathy, but this is especially true for children who cyberbully. They don’t see it as a big deal, as they don’t see the effect that they have on their victim. There have been studies that show cyberbullies actually feel more powerful and more popular if they do engage in cyberbullying.
3. They Think Everyone’s Doing It
There has been a lot more media attention on cyberbullying in recent years, and that means that children think it’s more prevalent as it is. As such, they think they can start cyberbullying, as everyone is doing it. If everyone is cyberbullying, then it’s not a big deal in their mind.
4. They Bully To Give In To Peer Pressure
On a related note, children will cyberbully others as they’re trying to fit in with a group that does it too. You’ll probably remember as a child that there was a lot of pressure to fit in with others. If a child falls in with a group that cyberbullies regularly, they’ll do the same so they can fit in.
As such, these bullies are actually more interested in fitting in than actually causing harm to others. As they’re in a group, they may feel there’s safety in numbers too.
5. They Feel Cyberbullying Makes Them Powerful
Children who feel as though they’re lower on the social totem pole to their peers will often feel as though they have to bully, in order to redress the balance. For example, those who are less popular than others will bully to give themselves more power. Cyberbullying is a means to this end.
There are many different goals to cyberbullying, but the general goal is to attain power. In that previous example, the cyberbully may use the internet to spread rumours about someone who is popular, and gain power that way.
6. They Bully For Revenge
There are bullies out there who have been bullied themselves. When they’re coping with bullying, they may feel the only way to redress the balance is to bully themselves. You’ll often see these children referred to as ‘bully-victims’.
They often want others to feel the way they do after being bullied. It’s a way of lashing out, and they’ll do it to feel better about themselves.
7. They Bully For Attention
Many children don’t get the right amount of supervision from their care givers, and find that the internet is their only source of entertainment. As such, they’ll find ways of getting attention online. That leads to cyberbullying, as it will get them attention, no matter how negative it is.
They may also cyberbully because they’re bored, and when they do so they create drama around themselves. It’s another way of getting attention when they don’t have healthy ways of doing so.
8. They Blame The Victim
Often, a child will bully because they believe the victim deserves it in some way. Perhaps a child will be bullied because others perceive them as mean, or they’re academically excelling and the bully is jealous of them. Because of this, they don’t feel remorse for what they’re doing.
There’s lots of reasons why a child will cyberbully, so you’ll want to be vigilant for it. Talk to your child about cyberbullying, and show them what an impact it can have on the victim.
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