Cyber Bullying - available 24/7
I recently took a short course on bullying and cyber bullying, having worked with a 12 year old boy who had sadly become the victim of such torment.
Like many people, I too suffered at the hands of bullies at school, many people think that it is just "a part of growing up" but is it?
When I was at school there was always a break from the bullying and although it bothered my thoughts after school hours I was away from the direct assaults at home in an evening. Our children and teenagers today do not have such respite. Bullying happens in person still, and now, there is the new wave of cyber bullying.
The abundance of social media creates an open platform for bullying to occur 24 hours a day and because of this social media is the most common form of cyber bullying
Cyber Bullying is defined as:
Anything offensive, humiliating, threatening or abusive that is directed at an individual on an electronic form of communication. This includes via text, email, snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging and online games
Here are some stats:
37% of young people surveyed using Facebook reported that they have been cyberbullied and experienced it on the platform
52% of young people surveyed have never reported the abuse they have received
When asked if social networks do enough to prevent cyber bullying 71% of young people said they did not.
Here are the percentages of young people surveyed who have experienced cyberbullying on each platform
Source - Ditch The Label. The Cyberbullying Survey 2017
Recently cyber bullying is an issue that has been raised around the world and has been shown to "drastically affect the mental health and wellbeing of young people"
Can we draw a correlation between the rise of social media and increased suicide rates in young people being at their highest ever? If you have not seen the documentary The Social Dilemma I would recommend taking a look, it describes how social media "profiles" individuals, and many of the original Silicon Valley social media creators do not allow their children to engage in social media, their reasons explained in the whistle blowing documentary.
57% of young people are bullied about their image and appearance. In a world that is in many ways obsessive about appearance and looking a certain way does this add to the pressures for young people to look a certain way to fit in and be alienated or bullied if they don't? Hasn't it always been this way as a teenager "part of growing up" maybe... but it certainly was not so constant and relentless when I was young.
Agoraphobia, anxiety disorders and panic disorders in later life can be linked to bullying in younger years, as adults becoming fearful of situations that may cause panic or result in feelings of powerlessness and embarrassment.
41% of young people surveyed had developed a form of social anxiety because of distress caused by bullying.
37% of young people surveyed were diagnosed with depression after experiencing cyberbullying
29% of people who experienced cyber bullying have admitted to self harming
These figures are alarming, so what can we do?
I believe that communication with our young people is the key. Do you know what your children watch on social media, who they follow, are they being bullied in their bedrooms? Of course it isn't that straight forward, however if you do need some support and advice, there are some amazing resources out there:
In some cases schools and even the police may need to be involved.
Hypnotherapy and EFT can help young people to view themselves differently and help to support self esteem, confidence and assertiveness.