Bullies are part of folklore and stories for centuries. They exist and everyone knows someone or the other who is a bully. Bullies exist in schools, colleges, work places and even in public transport like buses or trains. They are known by their loud, obnoxious behavior and their picking of targets to bully. That classical model of bullying has entered cyber space and internet for a long time now. Cyber bullying is equally damaging to the psyche as the traditional form of bullying.
For this post, we asked some trained psychologists at MonerAlo.com, the best psychology clinic in Kolkata, about the harmful effects of cyber bullying among the most vulnerable: teenagers. With social media use rampant and reckless, teenagers put out a lot of information about their personal lives on the internet. That includes pictures, contact details and glimpses into their lifestyle and choices. Anyone who expresses opinions different from the popular, and henceforth accepted norm, are subjected to cyber bullies, broadly called trolls.
No one online is free from cyber bullying. Celebrities with millions of followers are also trolled and bullied. However, for teenagers, the bullying can get extremely personal. It will have a deep negative effect on the fragile mind and ego of a teenager. It gives rise to low self esteem and inferiority complexes. It can wash away confidence, motivation and sometimes, the will to live. Cyber bullying also happens in groups, where an entire gang of friends go up against one of their own who has defied the collective opinion. In such cases, the victim finds themselves friendless and without any support system whatsoever.
Parents need to be very vigilant about teenagers subjected to cyber bullying. You will know about it only if you study the unusual behavioral patterns of your child. Mood swings, fading academic grades, hopelessness written large on the face and general disinterestedness about life, all of these are typical syndromes of cyber bullying. Sometimes the lifestyle of a teenager and their family can become an object of ridicule for cyber bullies. As a parent, you may not have the psychological training to bring out the facts from a rebellious teenager.
Consulting a psychologist in Kolkata is your safest and best option. With proper counselling, victims of cyber bullying can be brought back to lead normal lives.