Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago · 4 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Geoff blog
Why Cyberbullying is destroying our children’s lives

Why Cyberbullying is destroying our children’s lives

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I recently received an email from Jane H via the Freedom after the Sharks website after she had read one of my blogs that I wrote on 15th May 2015: “Is cyberbullying really necessary?”

Bullying has been around for decades, even centuries. In fact, the word “Bully” originated during the 1530s. On the contrary, cyberbullying has emerged thanks to the advent of technology. In the 1990s and 2000s, webpages, cellphones, and early social networking sites like MySpace introduced cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms such as Facebook, XBox Live, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and other chat rooms can be great fun and a positive experience. But what do you do when things go wrong?

As technology keeps evolving, cyberbullying progressively is getting worse. Different platforms and ways of degrading an individual got easier such as blogging and posting anonymously. Regrettably, this has caused some young people to deteriorate physically and emotionally or even take their own lives. All of these cyberbullying cases have prompted several groups to discuss and find an answer to this conundrum. Some of their solutions conflict with each other, but they are committed to stopping cyberbullying.

Nowadays, people associate social media with negativity, such as cyberbullying or cyberhacking. In actuality, only a small portion of youth is misusing it. Instead of using social media to hurt others, the majority are using it as a way to heal. For example, many teenagers go on YouTube to connect with their peers, find role models, and deal with their emotional and mental health.

The facts are, recently, there has been an increasing trend of “cyberbullying.” “Cyberbullying” entails the harassment of students using social media websites, text messages, emails, and other technology. “Cyberbullying” presents several new and troubling problems for state government, the school systems, parents, and the courts. Most importantly, “cyberbullying” can lead to dire consequences, such as grief-induced suicides. Sadly, this occurs frequently because “cyberbullying” is often aimed at emotionally fragile adolescents. Clearly, such tragic consequences should be prevented.

This video by Trisha Prabhu ‘Rethink before you type’ TEDxTeen conveys her emotions and passionate comments on the subject:

Bullying is a persistent problem for educators and policy leaders across education, particularly with the ubiquity and popularity of social media platforms. The problem has become so embedded in the culture that we now see the appearance of cyberbully laws in many countries against such terror.

Statistics show that Cyberbullying appears to be somewhat less frequent than face-to-face bullying, but the consequences may be even more severe, issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, academic problems and social problems can result from cyberbullying.

Schools have responded by amending anti-bullying codes to include cyberbullying in their social media policies, anyone who makes threats to a child on the internet could be committing a criminal offence. It’s against the law in the UK to use the phone system, which includes the internet, to cause alarm or distress. It could also be against the 1997 Harassment Act.

Many cyberbullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyber bullies may not realise the consequences for themselves of cyberbullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyber bullies can lose their cell phone or online accounts for cyber bullying. Also, cyber bullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyber bullying, and if the cyber bullying was sexual in nature or involved sexting, the results can include being registered as a sex offender.

Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won’t get caught, but there are many ways to track someone who is cyberbullying.
Despite the potential damage of cyber bullying, it is alarmingly common among adolescents and teens. According to Cyberbullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation:

Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying.
• More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online;
• Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet;
• Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs.

Further alarming statistics show:
• Around half of teens have been the victims of cyberbullying;
• Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyberbully-victim;
• Fewer than 1 in 5 cyberbullying incidents are reported to law enforcement;
• 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras;
• About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others;
• Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyberbullying.


The Cyberbullying Research Center also did a series of surveys that found these cyberbullying statistics:
• Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyberbullying;
• About half of young people have experienced some form of cyberbullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly;
• Mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumours are the most common type of cyberbullying;
• Girls are at least as likely as boys to be cyberbullies or their victims;
• Boys are more likely to be threatened by cyberbullies than girls;
• Cyberbullying affects all races;
• Cyberbullying victims are more likely to have low self-esteem and to consider suicide.

There are many types of different technical tools available in the market to support you and keep your children safe online. These vary from VPNs and antivirus software to internet filters and parental controls. Essentially, none of these are really enough to help keep your child safe.

The below link is a useful guide: ‘The Ultimate Parent Guide for Protecting Your Child on the Internet’

In summary, cyberbullying is a serious issue, and like any form of bullying it can have long-term effects on its victims.

As technology continues to become an increasingly large part of our daily lives, and the lives of our children, it is important to recognize the dangers of cyberbullying and to take definite steps to prevent it.

Parents, teachers, and children must work together to prevent cyberbullying and to make the internet a safer place for all. Children should be educated on what to do and who to go to in the event that they encounter a cyberbully.

And parents should encourage schools to update their technology policies to help prevent instances of online bullying. With parents, children, and educators working together we can decrease the instances of cyberbullying and create a safer and more rewarding online environment for all of our children.

As Ellen DeGeneres once said:

‘We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos and negativity and bullying in the world. And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common – which is – we all want to be happy.’


Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #21

Thank you Lisa Vanderburg for your amazing observations, I could not agree more. A terribly important subject with needs constant awareness and education. 

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #20

Late again, but a shudderingly important topic that you've covered well, Geoff Hudson-Searle's wise acknowledgement; we have to teach our kids earlier what they'll be up against and how to deal with it. AND that's it's vital to report it back to their parents! If we can get it into their heads that the bullies are looking for someone to take the bait, it may take the awful devastation out of it. Great buzz dude!

Irene 🐝 Rodriesco

4 years ago #19

The good thing about commemorating the international day of ... is that it serves as a reflection of why it is celebrated and, motivate us to act for the indicated reason, not only that day, but the subsequent ones. Yesterday, day 2 was the international day against bullying. Your producer seemed very successful and enriching. I also wish you a good week.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #18

Thank you Irene 🐝 Rodriguez Escolar have a lovely week! :-)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #17

Thank you Debasish Majumder for your wonderful comments, I am pleased you enjoyed my buzz across an incredibly important subject in today's world.

Irene 🐝 Rodriesco

4 years ago #16

Great job. a Great article, reflective and informative. 👏👏

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #15

nice and informative buzz Geoff Hudson-Searle! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #14

Awesome Lance \ud83d\udc1d Scoular thank you so much!

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #13

Thank you Irene \ud83d\udc1d Rodriguez Escolar the video is so transparent and amazing, such a great spririt!

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #12

I agree with your sentiment Harvey Lloyd it really is an educational cycle, but like all the challenges we are faced in this technological world, we really need to start somewhere, as Lao Tze once said the journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step, the sooner we talk, the sooner we can execute action, the sooner we can provide solutions to increasingly unacceptable and unmoral behaviours.

Lance 🐝 Scoular

4 years ago #11

👍 Shared  👥ed 🐝🐝🐳🐤🚲🔥

Irene 🐝 Rodriesco

4 years ago #10 amazing.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #9

I am always very cautious as we try and regulate morality. These rules often become a hard point that traps more than the intended target. This is where education can be extremely handy. We should educate our children to understand bulling both in delivery and receiving. Avoiding the regulatory government getting involved.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #8

Thank you Jerry Fletcher for your thoughts on the subject, I agree what triggers the chemicals in the brain upon discrimination, hurt and deceit, which ever way we view this kind of behaviour, I feel its wrong and criminal.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #7

Thank you Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador for your comments, I agree children are vunrable and an experience or emotional trauma at an early stage in life can have a catastrophic effect throught muscle memory and in some instances leaving children into adulthood with fear and mental effects thats are irriversable. There really does need to be more awareness across this subject and ways of policing or regulating Cyberbullying.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #6

Without question Claire L Cardwell if it is created from the internet or face to face, bullying of any description is totally not acceptable. Thank you for your comments and views on this subject.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #5

Many thanks Harvey Lloyd for your wonderful comments, i agree completley on all accounts. The issues here are increasing and there is not enough awareness on the seriousness of the situation which absolutely requires more talk, action and regulation and policing. I thought I would share with you some comments from another SM platform on the buzz. 'The gravity of the situation can hardly be overemphasised, and Geoff's article is timely. And, although all generations have difficulties passing to adulthood, none before has encountered anything quite like this. A key question is; Can you separate yourself physically from your tormentor? There is no doubt that "conventional bullying" is terrible and must never be downplayed, but in most cases it is possible to find a private space, at home, with friends or other social groups. The unique and insidious quality of cyber bullying is that the apparatus that brings many young people in contact with positive things, is also the conduit for this darker communication. For example, many school study programmes are online, so the cellphone has to be in use, willingly or not. But there is a wider issue against which the issue of bullying must be set, and that is the digital environment in which the ephemeral nature of sensation is paramount. Nurtured like this, what reserves would many of us have had to counteract the online bully? The self esteem of young people can be fragile, and this invites many to seek approval for their actions - validation if you like - from distant voices. Cyber bullying is the dark corollary of this yearning.'

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #4

Geoff, Something to think about. I'm so glad my daughter is a young woman and not a teen. I can't for the life of me figure out how the cyberbully gets feedback if the target refuses to respond. In person bullies get to see their victims cringe. What pings the brain chemicals of the cyber bully?
Excellent, timely and much-needed discussion given the increase in cyberbullying. Children are the most vulnerable as their young minds are easily confused. Adults face the same issues and hopefully have the maturity to take action. It's unfortunate people go out of their way to hurt others, which is something I'll never understand.

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #2

Geoff Hudson-Searle - bullying whether it's face to face or over the internet is not acceptable under any circumstances. I was bullied a lot at school whilst growing up, whilst it was unpleasant it soon ended after I grew 6" in less than 6 months! Thank God the internet wasn't around when I was a kid. I don't know how these vulnerable children cope with the constant barrage of criticism and insults.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #1

The psychology of cyber bulling is somewhat the same between the perpetrator and the victim. Each is looking to fulfill something within the wrong spaces. Although i agree with the act as being wrong i also know that morality is a changing barometer that executes around the victim. But i see that both the bully and the victim are victims of a greater phenomena. Post Modernism. Our children are not emotionally prepared to deal with the evolutionary process presented by Darwinism at such a young age. Science has shown that male and female do not receive their higher functioning brain power until 18 plus years. Yet we are exposing emotionally driven children into a very Darwinism world. Children at a young age seek trust and bonds emotionally if these are not satisfied within the family they will seek them outside. Enter social media. Religion offered us a communications channel within this area of trust and bonding. If this is not your belief then you must install a mechanism that creates these conversations and experiences where bonding and trust form. Parents today for some reason believe that we naturally evolve into trust and bonding. Nothing could be further from the truth. We bond and trust based on experiences wherever they come from, the easiest being within the family. Having dealt with cyber bullies very early with my own children i found that the three i dealt with came from broken homes or very challenging childhoods. They were merely responding to their environment. Thankfully we had the tools and know-how to clarify with our children the family unit is where you develop your mental muscles. Great piece and requires more talk and action.

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