Which is worse: cyber bullying or traditional bullying?

According to experts who deal with communication, cyber bullying and traditional playground bullying are very different. However what is it which makes this so? The following are some of the major differences between the two:

  1. The victim in cyber bullying is defenceless and is exposed to the bullying at home as well
  2. The victim cannot hide and cyber bullying can occur quickly and spread fast
  3. A number of mediums of communication can be utilized to engage in cyber bullying
  4. 90% of the time, the bully is someone the victim knows but is unable to identify since the identity of the bully is kept hidden
  5. While online, almost everyone tends to engage in some form of cyber bullying which could include posting an objectionable picture online to posting some comment
  6. Because of the anonymity associated with cyber bullying, it has the chance of occurring for longer periods of time
  7. It is seen to be more damaging than simple bullying or teasing as the data about the victim is made public which can further increase the number of bullies who bother the victim

Apart from being different in the manner it is conducted and apart from being more damaging, it also has its own terms associated with it which describe the variety of cyber bullying which exists. The following are some of these divisions which have been talked about by the New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services:

  • Denigration:  within this, damaging rumors are spread, secrets tend to be disclosed and made public through posting online which could damage the reputation of the individual
  • Exclusion: this involves Excluding the victim on purpose from any activities and groups online
  • Flaming: this consists of bombarding cruel, vulgar or even rude messages or emails on to the victim.
  • Happy Slapping: within this, physical attacks are conducted on the victim in some embarrassing manner while someone else takes pictures of the act being committed. These pictures are then either posted online and even sent to others
  • Impersonation: in this form of cyber bullying, the bully pretends to be someone he isn’t and creates a fake id simply for the purpose of sending or posting material online which is damaging for the victim and does so with the intent to harass the victim or to damage his reputation
  • Outing: spreading messages or pictures over the internet about the victim which contain information which is private, sensitive and embarrassing to the victim
  • Text Wars/Attacks: constantly engaging in and troubling the victim by sending him mean text messages and emails.

It is important for parents to be aware of all this because it is their children who get robbed of their innocence and joys when they are cyber bullied mostly because of the lack of adult supervision. Not many parents are well associated with the language which teens use online today and many continue to not be up to date with the technology either. Thus, in order to deal with this problem, parents need to familiarize themselves and get on top of the issue.

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