Cyberbullying: Causes, Effects & How To Prevent The Epidemic !

By Rotimi Onadipe

Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten or embarrass another person. It involves the sharing of negative, offensive, malicious & false information about someone else. Some cyberbullies may even create email accounts or online platforms purposely to target their victims. In most cases cyberbullying is more painful than face-to-face harassment and it can happen anywhere at anytime while the identity of the cyberbully is hidden.

It is very common among youths, particularly teenagers. It can occur through computer, mobile phones, iPad or social media e.g. facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, online chat rooms, online gaming communities or direct & instant messaging.

In this digital era, advancement of technology has contributed to the prevalence of cyberbullying. We are in the social media age where internet users share almost every information they see online without minding the negative & dangerous effects.

On several occasions, cyberbullying had damaged the online & real life relationships and reputations of so many people while other victims have attempted suicide because with just one click the embarrassment may be witnessed by thousands or even millions of people online.

Common causes of cyberbullying:
1. Lack of moral education.
2. Lack of internet safety education.
3. Lack of basic rules & regulations in online platforms.

4. Peer pressure
5. It is very easy for cyberbullies to hide their identities.

6. Sharing of private information on social media.
Effects of cyberbullying:
1. Depression.
2. Reputation of victims can easily be damaged.
3. Suicide.
4. It may have negative effects on the academic performance of victims, particularly students.

5. Victims become aggressive.
6. Victims become less productive in their daily activities.

How to prevent cyberbullying:
1. Educate yourself about internet safety.
2. Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of cyberbullying.

3. Avoid sharing personal & sensitive information online.

4. Parents should always monitor their children's behaviour.

5. Parents should limit children's access to internet & social media.

6. Save the evidence of cyberbullying & report the incident to relevant agencies e.g. police or anti-cybercrime organisations.

Rotimi Onadipe, Tel: +234-8169121819: Email: [email protected]