Despite what many may believe, bullying isn’t just done face-to-face. In fact, the increased development of social networking sites online has increased the risk of bullying online. When bullying takes places over the internet, it is referred to as cyber bullying. It is also considered to be bullying through other forms of technology such as cell phones and any other form of electronic device.

What Exactly Is Cyber Bullying?

As a general rule, cyber bullying doesn’t target children at a young age. This will generally begin in middle school – usually late in middle school – and throughout high school.

Cyber bullying takes the form of rumors, lies, text messages, websites, profiles, etc. Some specific examples of cyber bullying include:

The spreading of lies and/or rumors of a particular person via social networking sites, text messages or e-mail.
Sending rude, hurtful, dishonest and mean text messages to others.
Sexting – this could include sexual jokes, sexual statements or sexual pictures forwarded of another individual to others without their consent.
The creation of social network profiles, websites or videos that can humiliate, embarrass and/or make fun of someone else.

Why Is Cyber Bullying Different Than Regular Bullying?

Other than the fact that its not done face-to-face as traditional bullying is, there are actual several different ways that this differs than the standard form of bullying. It can be, and is very often, sent anonymously so that the source of the content is not known. It can take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week no matter what. It can also be spread to a very large audience not just limited to peers at school.

The Devastating Effects

Traditional bullying can have some very serious effects, but so can cyber bullying. Studies show that students that are involved in cyber bullying are more likely to receive poor grades (lower their GPA significantly), have a drastic drop in their self-esteem, be prone to more health issues – sometimes serious – and be unwilling to go to school.