By Divya Shree Nandini ~ Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University

“Crime from one side of screen is a way to other side of bars”

As we all know the literal meaning of Bullying. Bullying is the use of force, coercion, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. It is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally. We often hear or read in the newspapers because of bullying several children goes into the cave of death every year. Firstly it was in physical form now it is through electronic media. The new generation usually uses social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr, etc. so that they can easily and constantly connect with people. Nowadays bullies are using this medium as a tool as another way to harass their victims and send threatening messages to intimidate them. In the last few years, cyberbullying has made a lot of headlines in the media and the news, especially when teenagers commit suicide due to excessive bullying. Responding to this problem Government of India conducted various researches on cyberbullying and suicides and further, they passed preventive law on it.

Cyber Bullying-

Cyberbullying is the use of social networking sites to bully someone, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are also referred to as online bullying. This has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as technology has advanced, and also the digital sphere has expanded. Cyberbullying generally occurs when a young person is bullied or harassed by someone on social media sites.

Why Do People Do It?

Why does someone do cyberbullying? Reasons to do bullying are:

  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Revenge
  • Self-satisfaction
  • Entertainment
  • Power-hungry and thrust to become famous.

Some people are so selfish for their excitement and their self-satisfaction that they target multiple people to bully them because of their ill mentality through various platforms. Whether in online games, online study, or on social media by using abusive languages, by vulgar videos or by vulgar pictures, etc.

E.g. In a college a group of seniors bullies their juniors to an extent that a junior gets highly depressed and frustrated, in retaliation for this act of senior, he/she makes a fake account in social media to get into the friend list of that senior and becomes trustworthy stranger being a fake personality and starts uploading vulgar edited videos and pictures on senior’s profile to embarrass him/her and peer the senior’s reputation in the college.

We often hear cases in our surroundings. Most people can detect that they’re being bullied because bullying involves repeated insults or threats. The people practicing bullying know that they’ve crossed a line too. It’s not a one-off joke or insult — it’s constant harassment and threats that go beyond typical fun, teasing, or a nasty comment made in anger just to satisfy a greedy need of being popular.

Impact of Cyber Bullying-

As the brutality of cyberbullying is increasing, so are the people involved in it. Sometimes the outcomes of cyberbullying are worse than traditional bullying which infiltrates every part of a victim’s life and leads to serious conflicts. There are some cases in which teenagers took their own lives as they became victims of vicious cyber-attacks.

Emotional and Physical effects-Issues related to concentration, behaviour, and permanent emotionality can occur among victims of cyberbullying. If we talk about emotional and physical effects, they experience trust issues and get caught in the wrong habits like alcohol drugs, or smoking at a very early age. Teens victims of cyberbullying dangerous stigmas and can experience painful shame from their peers. Even if they are not completely threatened, teenagers suffering from cyberbullying are still suffering from physical symptoms, such adolescents often complain of head and stomach pain which are symptoms associated with nervousness. They can also turn to self-immolation which involves cutting or damaging their skin with a razor or blade. They lose self-confidence.

Long-term effects- It has long-term effects for example – chronic fatigue, insomnia, and poor performance at work. The long-term effects of cyberbullying can also be life-threatening. As per the cyberbullying, there are 20% of victims who commit suicide. Suicide due to cyberbullying has also been seen in many high profile cases. Depression is not uncommon. Some victims feel about their life as if their life is meaningless and they feel hopeless. All these tragic events led to the attention of this issue, due to which prevention efforts became a priority today.

What are the steps taken?

There are no particular laws in India regarding cyberbullying. It is not something that can be wiped out without even reporting. It is not easy for a victim to overcome the bully they faced.

After the amendment of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in 2013 there are some laws to depend upon like Section 499 of IPC defines defamation, Section 292A defines printing matter intended to blackmail, Section 354A describes sexual harassment, Section 354D defines stalking, Section 509 defines any word or act intended to insult a woman.

The IT Amendment Act also gives remedies for cyberbullying. Section 66A of the Information technology Act defines punishment for a person for sending an offensive message through any communicating device. Section 66E provides punishments for invading privacy. Section 67 provides punishment for publishing any obscene picture.

What is the present condition?

Currently, there is a rapid growth in cyberbullying cases in India. But the number of cases reported is quite different from the actual number of cases because 9.2% of children do not tell their parents and teachers about being bullied. According to Child Rights and You (CRY), one in three adults is bullied every day. Most of them are aged between 13 and 18 years. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, there has been a 36% increase in cyberbullying and cyberstalking in India.

BOIS locker room case: Bois Locker Room was an Instagram scandal, allegedly involving a chat room of teenage boys from Delhi. It was started on 3 May 2020, when a member leaked chats from the group, including obscene images of around 15 girls. But as investigation proceed. It was found that the boy alleged for doing the above offence was a fake account administrated by a girl.

Ritika Sharma’s case: Ritika Sharma, who was a student in a reputed Delhi school was stalked by a Facebook friend, who had all her personal information including the address of school and residence including phone number. Despite being unfriend by her, months ago. She informed her brother regarding this who filed a complaint against the stalker. After this incident, the Delhi police organised awareness programs where all the scholars were warned not to share their personal details with any stranger.

Ritu Kohli’s Case: Talking about cyberstalking and cyberbullying, Ritu Kohli’s case should be mentioned. Ritu Kohli’s Case was the primary cyberstalking case reported in India. She filed a complaint in 2001 that somebody else is using her identity in social media and she was deliberately getting calls from different numbers and also she was getting calls from abroad.

Conclusion-

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue and has long term effects on victims. In today’s time, as technology is becoming an important part of our lives, it has become important to recognize the dangers associated with cyberbullying and take definite steps to prevent it.

Being parents, teachers, or children we all should work together to stop cyberbullying and make the Internet a safe place for everyone. Children must be educated about such incidents and must be taught what they should do when such things happen to them. Parents should talk to their children about cyberbullying. This is the best way to show that you care and this will make them easier to open up to you in the future. The communication gap between parents and children results in the worst consequences of cyberbullying. Children must be taught to be conservative in front of strangers and they must be conveyed the importance of confidentiality of their private information.

Cyberbullying and its effects on teen suicide

2 thoughts on “Cyberbullying and its effects on teen suicide

  • October 13, 2020 at 8:07 am
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    It’s awesome, this is very very true I hope so many people read and share this because it’s very helpful today’s situation and teenagers, keep it up.

    Reply
    • October 15, 2020 at 10:31 am
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      Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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