Cyberbullying has significant negative effects on mental health

Cyberbullying, the use of electronic communication to harass, intimidate, or threaten individuals, has become a prevalent issue in today’s digital age. This article will explore the pros and cons of cyberbullying, the reasons behind the behavior exhibited on the internet, and its potential impact on society and individual well-being.

Pros and Cons of Cyberbullying


  • Anonymity: Perpetrators can hide their identity behind the screen, making it easier to engage in bullying behavior without facing immediate consequences[40].
  • Ease of Access: The widespread use of technology and the internet provides bullies with constant and convenient access to their targets[20].


  • Mental Health Impact: Cyberbullying can lead to depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide among victims[30].
  • Escalation of Harm: The 24/7 nature of online communication means that cyberbullying can be relentless and pervasive, causing lasting harm to the victim[10].

Factors Influencing Online Behavior

The online environment presents unique factors that can influence behavior, including:

  • Anonymity: The ability to remain anonymous online may embolden individuals to behave in ways they wouldn’t in face-to-face interactions[40].
  • Lack of Immediate Consequences: The absence of immediate feedback or consequences for online actions may lead to riskier or more harmful behavior[10].
  • Perceived Distance: The physical separation from the target may lead individuals to feel less empathy or responsibility for the impact of their actions[20].

Normalization and Health Implications

The prevalence of cyberbullying raises concerns about its potential normalization and impact on society:

  • Normalization: The ease of engaging in cyberbullying and the lack of immediate consequences may contribute to its normalization in online spaces[10].
  • Health Implications: Cyberbullying is associated with serious mental health consequences for both perpetrators and victims, and its normalization poses significant risks to overall societal well-being[30].

In conclusion, while cyberbullying offers perpetrators a sense of anonymity and ease of access, its detrimental impact on victims’ mental health and the potential normalization of harmful online behavior raise significant concerns about its overall impact on society. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses education, regulation, and support for both victims and perpetrators.

Cyberbullying has significant negative effects on mental health, including increased stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem[1][3][5]. It can also lead to harmful behavior such as violent acts, substance abuse, and early experimentation with drugs and alcohol[1][5]. The anonymity and perceived lack of consequences on the internet may make individuals feel more powerful and lead to a lack of empathy, contributing to cyberbullying behavior[1]. This behavior can have a profound impact on both the victims and the perpetrators, affecting their well-being and future prospects.

The online environment may lead people to behave in ways they wouldn’t in a normal group setting due to factors such as anonymity, reduced accountability, and the ability to reach a large audience with minimal effort. This can result in individuals feeling more emboldened to engage in negative behavior[1].

While cyberbullying is a concerning issue, it is not necessarily becoming “normal” in society. Efforts are being made to raise awareness about its harmful effects and to prevent it. It is important to promote healthy online behavior and cultivate a culture of respect and empathy in both virtual and physical communities.

In conclusion, cyberbullying has serious detrimental effects on mental health and behavior. It is essential to address this issue through education, prevention, and intervention to foster a healthier and more positive online environment.

Parents can play a crucial role in helping their children deal with cyberbullying by employing a variety of strategies:

  1. Encourage Open Communication: Make sure your child feels comfortable talking about their experiences without fear of judgment or punishment. Listen attentively to their concerns[3].
  2. Educate About Cyberbullying: Teach your child about what cyberbullying is, how to recognize it, and emphasize that it’s not their fault. This can help them understand the situation better and feel supported[2].
  3. Promote Internet Safety: Instruct your child to ignore communications from unknown individuals, not to share personal information online, and to report any cyberbullying or threats they encounter[3].
  4. Collect Evidence: Encourage your child to save and print out messages, emails, and any other evidence of cyberbullying. This documentation can be crucial for reporting the bullying to schools or authorities[1][5].
  5. Block the Bully: Teach your child how to block or report the cyberbully on the specific platform where the bullying occurred. This can provide an immediate solution to stop receiving harmful messages[1].
  6. Contact the School: If the cyberbullying involves schoolmates, inform the school to see if they can intervene. Many schools have policies and programs in place to address bullying[2][5].
  7. Seek Professional Help: If your child is struggling to cope with the emotional impact of cyberbullying, consider seeking help from a mental health professional who can provide support and coping strategies[5].
  8. Refrain from Retaliation: Advise your child not to respond or retaliate to cyberbullying messages, as this can escalate the situation. Instead, focus on positive coping strategies and seeking help[1][2].
  9. Review and Enforce Internet Rules: Establish clear rules about online behavior and the use of technology. Keeping the computer in a central location can also help monitor your child’s online activity[3].
  10. Get Involved in Prevention: Participate in or promote bullying prevention programs in your community or your child’s school. Being proactive can help create a safer environment for all children[4].

By combining these strategies, parents can not only help their child deal with the immediate effects of cyberbullying but also equip them with the skills and knowledge to navigate online interactions more safely in the future.

[1] https://childmind.org/article/help-kids-deal-cyberbullying/
[2] https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html
[3] https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/handling-bullying-issues/cyber-bullying-what-parents-can-do-about-it/
[4] https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/safety/Digital-Safety/Parents-Can-Prevent-Cyberbullying
[5] https://cyberbullying.org/what-to-do-when-your-child-is-cyberbullied
[10] https://www.slideshare.net/amandamarietopeka/pros-and-cons-of-cyber-bullying
[20] https://healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-cyber-bullying/
[30] https://www.ipl.org/essay/Pros-And-Cons-Of-Cyberbullying-FKJHBQKRC4DR
[40] https://www.123helpme.com/essay/Pros-And-Cons-Of-Stop-Cyberbullying-639561
[50] https://www.ipl.org/essay/The-Pros-And-Cons-Of-Cyberbullying-P33GDP74AJFR

[1] https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/cyberbullying-effects
[2] https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it
[3] https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impact-of-Cyberbullying-on-Mental-Health.aspx
[4] https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-are-the-effects-of-cyberbullying-460558
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126576/

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One Comment

  1. The Native American

    Interesting piece indeed! I am also concerned on what’s going to happen with funding through the Affordable Connectivity Program in which funds are set to run out by the end of April 2024.

    If there’s no bill/law passed for an extension soon, many will be left on the hook for their internet bill in which it’s an estimated $30-$70 per household per month! Millions will be left without internet access given the cost as most are on a fixed income, and more detrimental to Tribal/Citizen members as the impact will scale.

    The infrastructure is expensive indeed, but come on! At this point, the internet should be classified as a utility to qualify for reduction costs/credits in the same way people receive their energy, gas, solar credits!

    Source: https://www.nlc.org/article/2024/01/23/whats-next-for-the-affordable-connectivity-program/

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