Bullies are Online and Anonymous: The Effects of Online, Physical, and Psychological Bullying

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Bullies are Online and Anonymous: The Effects of Online, Physical, and Psychological Bullying

Older student bullying and taking money from a younger student / Photo by Getty Images


Now that most kids and young adults use social media on a daily basis, it is no surprise that bullying remains rampant. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children who have experienced bullying are most likely to develop depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Fortunately, schools are getting more involved in preventing bullying cases. Counselors have widely opened their doors to students experiencing difficult situations caused by their peers.

Aside from psychological impacts, bullying can also cause physical farm. This includes urging a bullied child into harming himself. Vice Principal Cherstine Willis from Saratoga Shores Elementary School mentioned how victims of bullying may sometimes blame themselves and therefore, turn to suicide. However, according to a report by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, bullied victims and the bullies themselves should both undergo psychiatric intervention. Both parties of the case may increase their risk of obtaining depression and self-harm.

Chad Jensen, a professor of psychology from the Brigham Young University, supports this report and further mentions that bullies themselves may also be former victims of bullying. “Because bullying is often an attempt to assert social power and achieve social status, people who have been bullied often engage in physical or relational aggression to improve their perceived social status,” he stated.

In 2013, a non-profit organization called Child Trends released a report that discussed the effects of bullying, including the development of vices such as smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol. Moreover, it was recently observed that 87% of school shootings have been conducted by students who experienced bullying. They cause shootings as an act of revenge towards the kids who have bullied them.

Despite the various implemented laws and regulations that prevent these cases, bullying still continuously spreads throughout schools and now, online. Willis states that for a child or young adult to be officially identified as a bully or cause of distress among students, his or her actions should be repetitive and targeted. They have seen these physical and verbal cases in middle school while cyberbullying is mostly experienced in high school.



Online Predators are Anonymous Bullies

Online bullying is considered one of the most harmful forms of bullying. A teacher from Timpview High School, Jeff Ward, states the dangers of the internet. Cyberbullying can easily result in one click and can be seen from all sources of social media. It has become rampant since online bullies can simply hide their identities. Ward’s own daughter was once bullied online, wherein a group of students created a website that indicated a rank of girls. This list was based on looks and rumors about them.

This type of bullying does not only reach students in high school, it can go further to working adults. The LGBTQ community receives a hefty amount of online bullying regularly. YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf first created his YouTube channel to create a safe space for everyone, however, he received hateful comments and threats immediately after going online. In a recent interview with HuffPost U.K., he stated, “I didn’t understand how someone who didn’t know me could hate me so much, and for something I couldn’t control - my sexuality, how I spoke, how I moved.”

Unfortunately, this is not the only case of cyberbullying for the LGBTQ community. According to the Stonewall charity, about 1 out of 10 individuals have experienced bullying while 1 out of 4 trans individuals has received transphobic abuse through different social media apps. Meanwhile, TV presenter and a famous personality on film, Sade Giliberti, discussed the effects of bullying on her. She explains a never-ending feeling of wonder or worry, wherein she thinks of all the possible reasons where she could have been mean to this bully for her to receive such hate.

Facts You Should Know About Bullying

In research literature, there are only two types of bullies. First, there are those individuals to which they call “ineffective aggressors” or the thug bully. This type of bully undergoes a lifespan of being antisocial. Meanwhile, the “effective aggressor” is mostly seen in middle school where they are insanely popular, social and is likely to join an athletic group.

Moreover, there may be a possible connection between dysfunctional families and bullies. This frequently happens when a sibling displays abuse or violence towards another. Both of these individuals then continue this aggressive behavior in school. However, there are also various cases of bullying where the bullies display aggressive behavior on their own and not from having abusive family members.

Lastly, schools should practice a more preventive approach rather than implementing consequences or punishments to bullies. It has been proven that individuals who display these rowdy and abusive behaviors come from schools that fail to treat their students equally and provide a peaceful surrounding. Furthermore, a set of punishments would only result in unjust deliberations especially among children with disabilities, under special education and ethnic minorities.


Female student being bullied by a group of students / Photo by Getty Images




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