3 Ways the Internet has Changed Bullying

While it has received greater attention in the modern era, bullying has always existed. A power dynamic where the strong take advantage of the perceived weak, bullying can take the form of public humiliation, shaming, physical offenses and more.

However, there are elements today that make bullying more severe: the internet and digital communications. From gossip to sexting, here are three ways bullying in the digital age is even more dangerous.

  1. It’s omnipresent: If a kid was bullied in school, he or she could often go home or to other activities to catch a break. Through social media, however, bullying can be going on 24/7.
  2. It doesn’t disappear: Many of us may be able to cite a time when we were bullied as kids. But when we moved on to a new school or stage in life, we left the bullying behind. With the internet, a written record could follow children for years—from hurtful words to an imprudent photo.
  3. It multiplies: We all know how quickly a social media post can be shared or gain “likes”.  This works well for a funny meme, but is devastating when its content bullies a child.

So, what can a concerned adult do? Perhaps the most important thing is to educate our own children about the effects of bullying and to monitor their time online/on their phones. If we can teach our children to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, then perhaps the digital bullying trend will begin to decline.

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