The Impact of Cyber Bullying

While most people think that bullying is something that only happens to kids, the truth is that it affects everyone. With the advent of the Internet, a new and more pernicious form of bullying has emerged: cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is bullying on Internet forums, Facebook, and other digital or social networks. It can be harder to escape than other forms of bullying, and is just as damaging.

Power Dynamics

At its most basic level, all bullying is the result of unequal power dynamics. A bully has power over another person, the victim, and abuses that power. This can happen in any environment. Where children are concerned, it is especially common in school. With adults, bullying often occurs in the workplace.

What Makes Cyber Bullying Dangerous

The main factor that makes cyber bullying so difficult for victims to cope with is that it is difficult to escape. Once someone has been selected as a target online, that person opens himself up to abuse every time he logs onto his favorite social network or Internet forum. The victim often cannot really escape the abuse unless he stops using the Internet or alters his online activity substantially.

Because people use the Internet everywhere, cyber bullying can permeate a person’s entire life. Other forms of bullying are usually environment-specific. If a child is being bullied at school, for example, when he leaves school he is not subject to being bullied. On the other hand, if a child is being bullied on Facebook, whenever he logs into Facebook he opens himself up to potential abuse.

Reducing Cyber Bullying

Increased awareness can help reduce the incidence of cyber bullying. For example, let’s say that you are an employee at a carpet care business. If you notice that a co-worker is being bullied in the office or online, don’t be hesitant to discuss the problem with your boss. A workplace environment with less bullying is a better workplace environment for everyone. Cyber bullying, as well as other forms of bullying, will only decrease if people refuse to tolerate it.