The term cyberbullying refers to bullying which is done using electronic technology equipment and devices, such as computers, cell phones, tablets, as well as, communication tools like text messages, social media, websites, and chat.
Some of the examples of cyberbullying include rumors sent via email, text messages, WhatsApp statuses, and embarrassing pictures among others.
The Social world has pretty much changed over the past two decades, and the fact that everyone is turning digital cannot be refuted. In the recent past social media platforms have intensively gained more popularity.
The trendy use of social media platforms has not only led to cyberbullying as a major threat, but it is anticipated that it may lead to other psychological effects such as depression, anxiety, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and many others.
Undeniably, Social Media has tremendously impacted our daily activities in different facets of life, including online marketing, as well as advancing communication. Nonetheless, the adverse rise in the digital era has also impacted negatively on our rights.
These are the negative effects that have resulted from Cyberbullying:
- Makes one feel like looking down upon themselves which leads to low self-esteem.
- Makes one stay lonely as a result of alienation from the crowd.
- Staying silent and not talking to people for fear of being humiliated.
- It may lead to suicidal cases.
- Makes one not have friends.
Historically, bullying was a vice that happened face to face, I am a victim of bullying. I remember back in the days when I was joining my High school, just beside Lake Victoria where our school was located.
Whenever there was no water in the school compound, we were sent out of school to go and bathe beside the lake. There was this one student who was profoundly scary and huge by the name Omondi.
He confiscated my meal card and asked me to go and fetch him water, a full jerrican! little did I know I would not even get my card back.
This was so humiliating but it cannot be compared to today’s Internet attacks.
Cyberbullying can take place in many different forms, more often, its impact is largely felt by the person experiencing it.
Below are the DOs and DON’Ts when fighting cyberbullying:
- Do not be quick to respond.
- Do not discard the information just keep it.
- Talk to someone you trust with the information.
- In case it is too much, block the person.
- Do not share your social media accounts credentials.
- Do not participate in a bully session on social media.
- Do not take any information about Cyberbullying as personal.
- Seek professional guidance and counseling from a relevant person i.e., Pastor/Sheikh, or mental health doctor.
- Report when necessary, this is when you have gathered enough evidence.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend on social platforms or rather find a more comfortable one.
From the above article, it is apparent that the advancement of technology has both advantages and disadvantages.
On one hand, technology has created a world of possibilities, especially by improving communication. On the other hand, it has been detrimental, given that Cyberbullying is becoming more intense.
Thumbs up to the government for creating strict guidelines and measures to control this vice.
In that respect, people should be self-cautious when dealing with social media platforms