CYBERBULLYING: More Extreme Than Traditional Bullying

In Brief

Manaswini Vakulabharanam

8/1/20235 min read


Imagine being bullied by someone; scary, isn’t it? If being bullied by someone face to face can be such a frantic experience, imagine being bullied by an unknown person whose actuality, whereabouts, name, and everything is unknown; how eerie it could be!

Just as technology has evolved, so has bullying. Bullying was formerly confined to schools and colleges or neighborhoods, but now it has moved into the online world. Bullying through the use of technology is called cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is with the use of digital technologies. According to the National Bullying Prevention Centre (NBPC): “Cyberbullying is unwanted, repeated, aggressive, negative behavior that takes place over electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, and computers. Cyberbullying can happen over email, through texting on social media, while gaming, instant messaging, and photo sharing.”

Cyberbullying is more prominent among teenagers, both men and women; cyberbullying has an adverse impact on the psychology of teens. When bullying affects a person so much, the question arises why do people bully?


Cyberbullying happens for numerous reasons, as any other type of bullying, but cyberbullying may indeed be alluring because it can be done anonymously.

There are two kinds of people who are likely to bully:

1.Those who are popular

2. Those who are social frills.

Popular teens or kids bully because they see it as a way to stay popular, and hurting others makes them feel powerful. In general, bullies' behavior usually stems from their problems. Bullies usually tend to have less involved parents, be less excited about their school, and be depressed or anxious. They often have trouble controlling their emotions and impulses and find it hard to follow the rules.

A recent study published in PLOA ONE reveals why cyberbullying among young adults is so prevalent. There are three factors that contribute to online behavior that demean and harm others. The factors are as follows:

1. Impulsivity

2. A pursuit of online popularity

3. Limited empathy


Cyberbullying, as discussed above, refers to using technology to harass, intimidate, or target individuals. It can indeed be more extreme than face-to-face taunts for several reasons.

One, ANONYMITY means “a situation in which a person is not known by or spoken of by name “(Definition by Merriam Dictionary). Anonymity is one of those several reasons why cyberbullying is a nightmare; the person bullying through digital technology can hide behind online allies or fake accounts, which makes them believe that the perception of anonymity gives the perpetrator a greater sense of power and a lesser sense of accountability. This has aided in aggressive and extreme behavior.

Two, WIDER AUDIENCE, when it is reachable to a large mass, while face-to-face bullying is limited to the same group of people, cyberbullying is not. It has a broad reach; it quickly reaches a much larger audience through social media, Instant messaging, unpleasant videos, images, etc. Something that has to stay private is now spread all over the internet and is visible to a large mass, causing humiliation and distress to the victim.

Three, POSTS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE AND CAN LAST FOREVER; once a post is made, it only takes a second for a person to take a screenshot of the post before it gets deleted. The post that is thought to be deleted can pop up on social media through some other person, and it profoundly impacts the life of the victim and traumatizes them for the rest of their lives.

Fourth, 24/7 INTERNET ACCESS, the internet is accessible to us 24/7, which has impacted our lives both in a positive as well as a negative way. Cyberbullying can take place anytime due to the 24/7 accessibility of the internet all over. It may occur even when you are home and make you feel insecure and unsafe even at your home.

Victims may constantly feel under attack and unable to escape the harassment, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness.

Traditional or Cyberbullying can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. It has a very adverse effect on you. The victims start to develop anxiety and nervousness; they might start withdrawing themselves from society. However, how do you know if you are being bullied?


It is widespread for friends to joke around with each other, but sometimes it is hard to tell if someone is just joking or trying to hurt you, primarily when online. Sometimes they will laugh it off with a “just kidding or “do not take it seriously.”

However, the important thing is, are you hurt? Alternatively, think that others are laughing at you instead of with you, and the joke has gone too far. If it continues even after you have asked them to stop and you are still feeling upset about it, this could be bullying. Then how to prevent being cyberbullied?


“For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified, and reporting it is key.”- UNICEF.

There is no foolproof way or strategy that can stop you from getting bullied, but there are specific ways that would reduce the risk of getting bullied. To avoid being bullied online, practice common sense habits like limiting the content you share online and keeping your information secure.

Do not post anything online that you want to keep private:

Private content such as messages, pictures, texts, and other content that are truly private once shared online are no longer private; a bully could get hold of a copy and use it against you.

It is best not to post anything inappropriate, embarrassing, and overly personal information online.

Make use of privacy settings on Social Media: The social media apps that are commonly in use allow you to control who sees what you post online. For instance, you can make your profile visible only to your followers. This usage of privacy settings would help you to keep outsiders away. This may reduce the risk of getting bullied.

Limit your online friends: Online provides a platform for people to connect easily through social media or social websites. Keeping your online circle limited to the people you know and trust can more likely reduce the risk of getting bullied.

Limited access to accounts and devices: To avoid getting bullied, we have to be very careful about which device we are using, and if we log in to a public device or shared computer, make sure to log out of that device to avoid your account getting into the wrong hands.

Likewise, do not let strangers use your devices.

If you feel that you have been the target of bullying or feel at risk of being bullied or bullied, the first step is to talk to a trusted person, your parents, friends, mentor, or a teacher at school. It would be wise to collect evidence when you are being bullied, and reporting it is a courageous step.


It is essential to address an issue such as cyberbullying, as we live in a digital era where digital literacy should be encouraged, promoting empathy, fostering open communication, and implementing effective reporting and intervention mechanisms. It is essential that parents monitor the digital usage of their children. These steps may not be a foolproof way to remove cyberbullying altogether, but they can help reduce the risk of bullying.

(Edited & Posted By Lawful Bytes Team)

Manaswini Vakulabharanam

PLC - Hyderabad