Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


February 15, 2014

Bullying takes many forms


Covert bullying is often harder to recognize and prove than verbal bullying because the victim doesn’t need be aware of it. Also, many people dismiss small slights and subtle signs as paranoia. However, if the situation goes overlooked, the process may be well underway before it’s noticed, making it hard to reverse.

Cyberbullying is another type of repeated abuse being reported more often. This kind of mistreatment involves the use of digital technologies, such as social media and mobile phones, to harass, embarrass or damage the victim’s reputation and social standing.

Behaviors that fall under the cyberbullying category are as widely varied as the different types of digital technology. A phone call, email or text can be used to harass, threaten, demean, humiliate or target an individual. In addition, cyber bullies may post hurtful pictures, make online threats, set up defamatory websites or deliberately exclude the target.

Because people today are so “plugged in,” cyberbullying is becoming more frequent. Cyberbullies can harass with less risk of being caught.

Cyberbullies frequently say things they lack courage to say to the victim’s face. Technology can make these bullies feel anonymous and detached from the situation and their actions. Consequently, cyberbullying is often extensively cruel because the perpetrator often feels little responsibility.

Targets of cyberbullying frequently feel the abuse is invasive and never ending because they can be attacked anytime and anywhere. Cyberbullying has many significant effects, all of which can lead to feelings of helplessness, isolation and a sense of being trapped in an impossible-to-escape situation.

Schools are beginning to address cyberbullying and students can face repercussions at school even for cyberbullying activities occurring outside of school hours and off school grounds. Schools are working proactively to protect students; in today’s world, that means addressing cyberbullying issues.

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