How cyberbullying manifests itself
Cyberbullying is typical of young adolescents. Whether offline or online, the bully’s intention is always to harm the victim. The bullying takes place repeatedly via digital media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, SMS, WhatsApp or email. Power plays a major role in this.
Cyberbullying can manifest itself in various ways. The perpetrator may insult, threaten, cheat, laugh at or hinder the victim in social contacts. The behaviour may only be visible to the victim, but a larger audience may also be involved.
Examples of cyberbullying are:
- sending someone an offensive text message
- insulting someone via a post on Instagram
- threatening someone to beat them up on TikTok
- sending unwanted explicit messages or photos via Snapchat
- excluding or ignoring someone online or pretending to be someone else online and ridiculing that person
- creating mean web pages or social media profiles about peers
Bullies often go to extremes online, precisely because they are not confronted with the consequences of their behaviour on the victim. Online bullying feels safer to them, as they can hide behind a screen.
Cyberbullying affects a lot of people and can spread quickly. The bullying often continues even when the bullied person is in a safe domestic environment. Victims of cyberbullying often feel that they cannot escape the bullying.
Although in some cases cyberbullying is easier to notice than bullying in person, it is not always dealt with as urgently as it should be because the victim has no direct physical contact with the bully.