School bullies have gotten a megaphone in recent years thanks to the Internet. In the past bullying was relegated to the schoolyard but in today’s digital, hyper-connected world, the bullies can get to their victims even when they should be safe in their homes. Cyberbullying is a very complex and complicated issue, and it isn’t as simple as just turning off the computer. Kids today have to be online for homework and even to socialize with their peers. So how do you deal with cyberbullying when it seems you just can’t get away from it?
Bullying can cause serious long-term problems for both the bully and the bullied. The bullied person can have problems in school, issues with depression, slipping grades, and could even resort to drug use to deal with the problems caused by the bullying they experience. Kids who are bullied are also at high risk for suicide, a terrible tragedy that ripples through communities and affects everyone.
But oftentimes people don’t stop to consider the long-term effects of bullying on the bully. Many bullies become bullies because they themselves have been bullied. The long-term effects of their behavior include drug and alcohol abuse, trouble with the law, dropping out of school, and committing domestic violence as an adult.
Stopping bullying in its tracks is crucial both for the bully and for the bullied; the future is bleak no matter which side of the equation you are on. Cyberbullying that isn’t stopped in adolescence can turn into online harassment in adulthood, which can end up having serious legal implications. There are even economic reasons to stop bullying – bullied people can end up making less money or spending more on dealing with the long-term effects of bullying. Unfortunately, there is little research on the cost to the overall economy, but it stands to reason that both the bullied and the bully could contribute more to the economy if the situation had been stopped.
Learn more about how to respond to cyberbullying from this infographic.
Infographic by Digital Guardian