College is an important time in your life because this is where you’ll learn important life lessons which you can use in the world of employment. Being able to mingle with different people, learning how to adjust to them and delivering outputs can be practiced in college and can be useful once you’re working. The course you’ll take during college can also make or break your career opportunities in the future. Do well academically so you’ll not have a hard time looking for a stable job. But college isn’t all about the good things; college is also the time where you’ll be judged by a lot of people. Since everything is new in college, people around you might misjudge or misinterpret how you are. This can lead to cyberbullying.
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is similar to bullying which takes places in schools or communities. But unlike the usual bullying, cyberbullying involves bullying someone with the use of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. Commonly, cyberbullying includes sending, posting or sharing negative, false or harmful content against someone else. Humiliating someone through social media also counts as cyberbullying.
To ensure that your college life will be free from cyberbullying, determine what are the signs involved. The better you know what these signs are, the easier it is for you to solve the problem at hand. The signs listed below are red flags that you’re already cyberbullied:
1. ) You’re uneasy, nervous or scared about attending classes: “I’m being bullied by people in school online so being with them in person can lead to bigger problems.” Thinking this way might mean you’re already being bullied and as much as possible, you want to avoid persons or situations which can bully you more.
2.) You’re nervous or jumpy when using any gadget: Your hands are always tingling or sweating when you’re texting or when you’re in social media. If you had the choice, you’d rather do everything offline or without a gadget.
3.) You’re gaining or losing weight without even trying: Being stressed can either lead you to eat more or eat less. If there are abrupt changes in your weight even when you’re not trying, you might be experiencing too much stress because of cyberbullying.
4.) You’re having trouble sleeping: When you’re bullied, you’ll end up tossing and turning at night thinking what have you done wrong and how you can possibly please other people. The minutes you thought you spent thinking about it become hours. And the next thing you know, it’s already morning, and you didn’t even sleep for a bit.
5.) You’ve become anti-social: Your outgoing and fun-loving personality is suddenly gone, and your family has started commenting about it. You’d rather be in your dorm all day than go out and have fun with your college friends. You think that the former is a safer option than risking the chance of being bullied.
6.) You’ve lost interest in your hobbies: Knitting has always been your hobby ever since you were young. But since you started college, seeing knitting needles no longer excite you.
How Can Cyberbullying Affect You?
You should never brush off the idea of cyberbullying once it actually happens to you. You shouldn’t wait for the people who bullied you to change over time because in reality, it rarely happens. And if you just leave this kind of situation to chance, you’ll end up changing yourself and personality – without you even noticing it. To drive the point home, cyberbullying can affect you in a lot of ways:
- Increased emotional distress: It’s normal to feel stressed at some point in your life. But when you’re cyberbullied, you’ll be angry, frustrated and sad more frequently at extreme levels. This can adversely affect your relationships and even put your health at risk.
- Lowered self-esteem: Being cyberbullied means people will always have something to say against you no matter what you do. Even if you top the class or were the last in the list, they would always find a reason to bully you. To save yourself from this situation, you’d choose to spend time alone and isolate yourself from people. You’d want to spend more days in your dorm rather than going out.
- Indulging in harmful habits: When you’re going through cyberbullying, you’ll look for avenues which can relieve yourself from stress – and nowadays, drugs and alcohol are the most convenient. You’ll end up using these just to escape all of the bullying that’s happening around you.
College might open many doors for you but being the subject of bullying shouldn’t be one of them. College should only give you positive experiences which you can use once you step out of the academe. Look out for the signs of cyberbullying and know how to handle the situation as early as possible. Don’t let it become worse because you didn’t sign up for college to be cyberbullied.
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