Cyberbullying in the times of pandemic

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The internet has given people unique access to each other’s lives and can take over if people let it. Work from home is the new status quo that has increased dependence on digitization and other online platforms. Apparently, increasing the screen time and social media engagement. The house arrest turned face to face communication obsolete while social media was widely used inclusively. On the contrary, the increase in online engagement led to the rise of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can be defined as” the process of using the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.”

In the most basic sense bullying involves two people, an intimidator and a victim. Online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be accessed with a fake profile giving an anonymous identity to the bully. Many try to masquerade in order to make a person look bad and destroy his/ her social image. It may also include public actions such as repeated threats, sexual remarks, hate speech, or defamatory false accusations, ganging up on a victim by making the person the subject of ridicule in online forums.

The ignorance of trolls, hatred, and various fake viral messages across the web has effectively created a lot which can destroy a public image in seconds. The major problem is definitely underrating the effects of cyberbullying both by parents and several government authorities. Victims may have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, and angry. Bullying is often left unnoticed, younger generations tend to hide it from school authorities and parents. Cyberbullying is definitely more harmful than traditional bullying as bullying on a global nexus makes it more heinous.

I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared and didn’t know how to defend myself. I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself.”

-JACKIE CHAN

One of the most befitting replies to bullies can be holding them accountable for their deeds. In fact, some of them are unaware of the damage they are inherited. There are various long term repercussions that can create an impact on an individual’s mental health. In response to being bullied, many people start consuming drugs and alcohol in response. They may isolate themselves from social life and may end up alone at school or workplaces. Repeated hatred by a set of people can generate a feeling of self-harm and lead to suicides.

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Image source- https://www.broadbandsearch.net/

Reporting is the key

Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. The seriousness of the problem should be conveyed to parents and they should be aware of every small detail.

Many countries have a special helpline you can call for free and talk to someone anonymously.

We need to be kind to one another online and in real life.

It’s up to all of us!

Contributed By- Madhvan Dikshit, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.

You can donate at:

https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-amit-jain?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=fundraisers-title&mlp_referrer_id=865276

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A social venture dedicated to empowering widows and single women to overcome poverty and dependency. https://mittikerang.myshopify.com

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