Cyberbullying and Depression – The Relationship and The Prevention
Are you noticing some unusual changes in your teens? Are they shyer than how they used to be? Do you feel like they are losing interest in everything? But there is one thing constant about them, their smartphone and internet usage. This is the point of worry for most of the parents now. After frequent use of the internet and their phones, they are seen depressed and all lost. Why is that?
By now, you must know the fact that cyberbullying is one of the most common threats when it comes to digital media. Especially, when younger kids are exposed to the glittery world of the internet, they hardly know what’s coming ahead but they are the most common victims of cyberbullying. And, why they get all lost and stressed out? Because there is a strong connection between cyberbullying and depression because of all the humiliation and embarrassment they face.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of technology and advanced resources of digital media to embarrass or humiliate someone on purpose. Gone are the times when it used to happen in school playgrounds only, the time has changed and so are the resources. With cellphones in their hands and the feeling of being independent, kids think they can do anything and there will be no consequences.
If parents want to deal with this issue, they must understand what is cyberbullying first. There are plenty of ways through which strangers or fellow kids humiliate another person through the use of the internet. They can share humiliating pictures of that person, write rumors about him, or worse, personify him to embarrass him in front of everyone.
What makes these kids do something like that to another person? There are almost equal chances for your kid to become a bully or a victim. So, what starts this all? How do they find these ideas and the courage to embarrass someone publicly?
Causes of Cyberbullying
Nothing just happens out of the blue. There are always reasons for things to happen the way they happen. When kids become bully, some reasons behind it are to be addressed to secure the society overall. These reasons become the causes of cyberbullying.
· Lack of Empathy
Smartphones are new for them and the glitteriest thing about this new world is that you don’t get to feel what others are feeling. This causes the kids to imagine like the other person has no feelings and they can do anything with them. This lack of empathy leads to dangerous behaviors.
Every bad deed has an addiction and it is the same with cyberbullying. It becomes the habit of the kids to make fun of other kids and they seek joy in it. This addiction can get worse and this can become a danger for them. They find it so enjoyable that they hardly want to leave it then.
Another factor that leads to cyberbullying is self-loathing. Studies have shown that there is a very direct connection between the people who have been bullied before and the ones who are bullies now. Most of the time, the people who have been bullied before come back to take some revenge and become the worse bullies themselves.
Effects of Cyberbullying
When talking about the causes of cyberbullying, it is wise to consider how is this affecting your child. There is a strong connection between cyberbullying and depression, and once it is on, there is hardly a way back.
Some of the most common effects of cyberbullying that can be noticed by the parents are as follows:
- Their self-esteem is reduced tremendously. They see no worth in themselves and they think they don’t deserve anything.
- They like to spend time alone and they are hardly ever interested in family time.
- They find it hard to go to school now. They are making lame excuses when it is about going to school.
- Their physical health is tremendously affected all of a sudden. They have started losing weight, changed their eating habits, and hardly take interest in things they were interested in.
- They start changing themselves to be acceptable in society. They want to fit in so hard that they are making big changes.
- They are moving towards self-harming behaviors and are on the edge of doing something wrong.
With these effects, depression is very common. We usually take depression easily, but it is a very serious condition. Kids are even making suicide attempts to escape from this humiliation.
For parents, it is very important to prevent such things from happening to your child. First of all, make sure you have an open communication policy at home. They shouldn’t be afraid of talking to you about the stuff they feel embarrassed about. You must not criticize them as it will make things harder on them. They are kids, no matter what they do, the only way they will let you help them is if you earn their trust by giving them respect.
Moreover, you can make use of the parental control app to make sure you know what they are doing on their smartphones. Most of the time, kids don’t share their emotions or the bad things happening to them. Other times, they just don’t know that they are being trapped into something evil. In either case, you want to make sure you are there at the right time to save them.
Being experienced, you can know long before them about who is trapping them. You can help them at the right time if you know what they are doing. A good parental control app lets you monitor their messages, call logs, and social media profiles as well. You can know from the basics about what is going on wrong.
Make sure to talk to them about this and have them on board with you. Make them aware that you are doing this for their benefit. They must know that you won’t do anything to humiliate them and you respect their decisions no matter what they were.