Cyber bullying does have negative consequences. The effects of cyber bullying can be short-term or if not dealt with can create long-lasting problems that can significantly impact the life of the target as well as the bully themselves.
Effects of Online Bullying
As a parent, it is your responsibility to check how much time your child spends in front of the computer. More importantly, you need to keep an eye on what each of them is doing. If you observe something strange, do not ignore these signs, even if it seems something small - step out and investigate.
You need to do this as the short-term consequences of online bullying may start out small but they can significantly develop and impact your child's future.
Lets take a look at some of the effects of cyber bullying for the target
Severe Depression - A child being bullied online can experience depression that can cause them to avoid people, even parents.
Loss of Self-Worth - A target of bullying may lose confidence in themselves. The actions, words or any other methods of bullying can push a child to doubt themselves, to not to believe in their strengths and abilities, and cause them to think that they are worthless.
Difficulty in Sleeping - The effects of cyber bullying are not limited to the times when your child is online. It extends to different aspects in their life, even sleep. The combination of fear, depression, anxiety and all other negative effects, may prevent them from having a regular, complete and restful sleep.
Physical Indications - There could also be physical symptoms which may include things like constant stomach pains, headaches and the like.
Anxiety - A child who is bullied online may be worried about almost everything for no reason.
Lack of Interest in School - Your child's lack of interest in going to school can mean not finishing their studies or doing poorly.
If you see any of these signs; if your child just doesn't appear to be their normal selves; if you notice a difference in their behavior - make sure you take the time to find out what is going on.
Effects of Cyber Bullying on Bullies
Online bullying does not only affect the target of the bullying, but it can also have an impact on the bully. As stated earlier, parents should keep watch of their children. Whether they are bullied or they bully others, there will always be negative effects - these may include:
Trouble in Making Friends and Maintaining Relationships - A bully, due to their intimidating attitude and personality, may find it hard to make friends. The few friendships that they do have may be built on fear, thus they are more difficult to maintain.
Struggles in School - Being an online bully may impact your child's interest in studying. What they are doing online may consume them and with all this going on, there may be a lot less room for other important things like study.
Problems with the law - In many countries and states, there is an increase in laws against cyber bullying. A child who is bullying others online may at some stage be charged, this means they could end up with a criminal conviction against them and the repercussions of this are huge.
Short-term or long-term, the effects of cyber bullying can be devastating. Your child does not deserve a ruined life due to being bullied or bullying others. These possible consequences of online bullying are a sobering reminder as to how important it is to keep an eye on what your children are doing online.