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    GUIDE: Cyber Bullying's Impact And How To Address It

    In today's technology-saturated era, distractions and cyberbullying are rampant online - mostly youth and millennials are centered on a depressing situation.

    Cyber Bullying's Impact And How To Address It
    Photo Credit: Says.com
    Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs via electronic technology. Some examples of cyberbullying include sending harassing emails, hateful text messages and posting embarrassing or disparaging comments and videos on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    It is in some ways different from face-to-face bullying. One key way in which they differ is that cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, which allows a bully to torment a person without being physically present. Cyberbullies often hide behind anonymity, which makes them difficult to apprehend.

    Psychological Impact

    According to an article posted on the Association of Psychological Sciences website, victims are also more likely to engage in bullying behaviors themselves. This is because they often lack the emotional support to cope with bullying. Also, according to the website, victims are more likely to suffer psychological problems in adulthood than bullies.

    Wolke, a psychological scientist and researcher, led a research team that studied the impact of bullying among 4,026 participants in a study. Wolke stated, "The mental health outcomes we were looking for included anxiety, depression or suicidal tendencies. Our results showed those who were bullied were more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those who were maltreated."

    The effects of being bullied as a child can last into adulthood. According to Stopbullying.gov, adult survivors of childhood bullying are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Those who bully others as children are also at risk for certain behaviors in adolescence and adulthood, such as the following:

    • Abuse romantic partners and children
    • Abuse alcohol and other drugs
    • Fight and vandalize property
    • Become a school dropout

    Prevention Measures

    To help prevent cyberbullying, parents should monitor their children's use of technology, including cell phones and computers. Some people are unaware of how fast comments and messages can spread over the internet. Parents should make children aware that anything they post online can be saved and forwarded to others. It is never a wise idea to post comments or pictures that could embarrass or demean oneself or others.

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    LOOK: What to do when harassed online

    The Cyberbullying Research Center lists tips parents should follow when a child becomes the victim of bullying. First, always listen to the victim in a calm manner. If there is proof of bullying, such as a picture or screen shot, save it. Do not try to contact the parents of the bully or confront the bully, as this might lead to retaliation. If the bully is a student, contact school administrators to learn how they can help prevent the behavior.

    One mistake people often make is to assume bullying is "just teasing" or that it has no effect on victims. Though bullies will perhaps always exist in our culture, being aware of the impact of bullying and preventative measures can reduce instances of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, don't ignore it. Seek counseling for the victim, if necessary. If the bullying involves physical threats, contact police.

    --Jenny Holt, The Summit Express

    About the Author: Jenny is a freelance health writer for a number of health sites and magazines. She's passionate in studying the impact and solutions to Cyber Bullying.

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