According to Google Trends, the fourth highest searching country worldwide for Cyberbullying is the Philippines. According to the report mentioned here, the term was searched for extensively all through 2013, this goes to show how Cyberbullying in the Philippines is becoming an issue
It may be due to the fact that the anti-bullying act of 2013 has been finally signed in the country, finally criminalizing acts of bullying and Cyberbullying in the Philippines.
The anti-bullying act dictates that “Within 6 months, elementary and secondary schools are expected to come up with their strategies, policies and procedure relative to the implementation of the anti-bullying act of 2013” It also dictates that the Department of Education must come up with implementing rules and regulations related to preventing all types of bullying.
The act defines bullying as a “severe or repeated use of physical act or gesture, written or electronic expression or a combination thereof resulting to fear, physical, emotional harm, damage to property, creation of hostile environment and infringement of rights of another student.”
It lists acts of bullying as “physical bullying, social bullying, verbal bullying and cyberbullying”
The law requires schools to come up with policies defining and prohibiting Bullying inside school premises as well as bullying outside school premises (cyberbullying) resulting in the definition above and to look out for acts of retaliation against a person who reports bullying incidents or bullies.
This law comes after the state had passed The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. 10175, which aims to criminalize legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. Among the cybercrime offences included in the bill are cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and online defamation of character, all in an effort to end Cyberbullying in the Philippines.
Definition of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is generally defined as bullying tactics used against an individual using the internet, cell phones or other technologies.
Cyberbullying differs from conventional bullying in that the harassment or torment is not done in the victim’s physical presence.
Cyberbullying facts provided by sites such as www.dosomething.com show us that cyberbullying is done virtually by means of social media sites, gaming sites, chat rooms and text messaging. Although there is no physical abuse involved, cyberbullying has proven to be just as emotionally damaging to victims as physical bullying. Many believe that cyberbullying is more emotionally damaging because the bully has unlimited access to their victims. One of the best ways to counteract cyberbullying is to educate yourself concerning cyberbullying facts.
So what are the most noted effects of cyberbullying, when it happens?
In a survey conducted by www.stopcyberbullying.org, victims of Cyberbullying responded in the following methods:
Thirty-six percent asked the bully to stop.
Thirty-four percent blocked communication.
Thirty-four percent talked to friends about the bullying.
Twenty-nine percent did nothing about the bullying.
Twenty-eight percent signed offline.
Only 11 percent of teens talked to parents about incidents of Cyberbullying.
Kids that are bullied are more likely to skip school in an effort to avoid having to encounter their nemesis and experience the emotional, psychological and physical effects of being bullied. It is estimated that as many as 160,000 students skip school nationally on any given day out of fear of facing a bully that has, in some way, been terrorizing them.
Bullied kids are more likely to get sick. Children who are being bullied are more likely to report feeling sick with some common symptoms being sore throat, cough, headache, stomach ache, and stuffy nose.
Bullied Teens are more likely to use alcohol as a coping mechanism which normally causes the teen to become more aggressive toward others. It is not uncommon for a child that was bullied in middle school or high school to ultimately become a bully later on in the academic process. Many kids that are bullies in college were bullied in middle school and high school.
Long Term Effects of Being Bullied
People who were bullied as children are more likely to develop psychological issues as adults. Children who were bullied from the 6th-9th grade are more likely to become depressed by the time they reach the age of 23. Also, people who have memories of being teased as a child are more likely to experience depression, pathological perfectionism, social anxiety, and a greater neurotic ism in their adult years.
People who were bullied during their childhood years are more likely to be bullied in the workplace. Unfortunately, many people who were victimized as children in a school environment often find themselves being victims of workplace bullying as well. If fact, nearly 60% of people that are bullied at work admit to having been bullied as a child.
Why should you be worried about Cyberbullying?
Because it has short and long term effects.
Because once anything is online, it is very hard to erase it or remove it.
Because with the advent of social media networks, any negative comment or post is widely shared among others in a matter of minutes which multiplies the negative effects on the victim in no time.
Can Cyberbullying be prevented or avoided?
Yes, it can, all you need to do is install kindness and good citizenship wherever you go, encourage your mates, friends, colleagues and community members to spread positive remarks and comments and not be a bystander when they see any cyberbullying act.