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What Is Cyberbullying?

girl on phone with others in background learning about cyberbullying

The internet allows teens to access information and communicate with others in a matter of seconds. While this has widened their world, new technology also brings new problems that may need to be overcome through professional help in the form of teen treatment programs.

Cyberbullying is one of those new problems. The meaning of “cyberbullying” might be obvious, but for those not in the know, it’s used to describe bullying behavior on the internet. Sometimes, bullying through texting is also covered by the term. The Cyberbullying Research Center defines the term as willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of smartphones, computers, and other digital devices. Each year, more than 10% of young students report being cyberbullied.

Looking for teen treatment programs for bullying in Colorado? Contact Imagine Fort Collins today by calling 888.291.2309 or reaching out to our team online.

What Is Cyberbullying?

As mentioned earlier, the meaning of “cyberbullying” is simply bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on gaming platforms, messaging platforms, smartphones, and social media. Cyberbullying is typically repeated behavior that’s aimed at angering, scaring, or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include the following:

  • Impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf or through fake accounts
  • Sending abusive, hurtful, or threatening messages, images, or videos to someone on messaging platforms or through texting
  • Spreading lies about someone on social media
  • Posting embarrassing or personal photos or videos of someone on social media

It’s also worth noting that cyberbullying and face-to-face bullying often happen alongside each other. However, cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint. While physical bullying may be easier to spot, cyberbullying leaves a record that can provide evidence of the abusive situation.

What Are the Signs of Cyberbullying?

Now that you know what cyberbullying is, it may be easier to spot signs that it’s happening. This could be an essential skill for parents and guardians, as teens don’t often feel safe or secure enough to tell adults about it when it’s happening to them.

Here are some signs of cyberbullying that you may notice in teens:

  • Decrease in digital device usage: If a teen suddenly seems disinterested in using digital devices, it could be a sign of a sign that they’re being attacked online. They may also want to completely unplug when at home, as using technology could cause them to feel unsafe or uneasy.
  • Emotional changes: Sadness and frustration often indicate an online attack. Often, bullied students also show signs of anxiety and depression. Other emotional changes that you may observe include sudden anger and lashing out. These can be a result of a feeling of being trapped and a consistent feeling of fear.
  • Reluctance in participating in face-to-face activities: A teen may be reluctant to leave the safety of their home or may avoid interactions with their peers. They may also no longer show interest in activities they usually enjoy.
  • Sudden withdrawal from social media: Sometimes, bullied teens withdraw from social media entirely. They may suddenly delete their Facebook account or their Instagram profile. Bullied teens may drastically change how they talk about social media, and their online personas may also change.
  • Unwillingness to communicate: A teen may be unwilling to talk about social media or seem jumpy whenever you try to communicate with them. Often, they fear an adult’s response to the situation, even though they’re the victims. They may not want to create a more complicated situation than what’s already happening.

When Should You Consider a Teen Treatment Program for Bullying?

As anyone who’s ever been bullied knows, its effects go beyond short-lived or temporary emotional pain. An abusive situation like this can have serious effects on a teen’s physical health, mental well-being, and even in the way they handle social interactions. It can even affect their family relationships. Unresolved relational conflict can also lead to poorer academic performance, which can affect their future.

Teen treatment programs for bullying not only intervene in bullying situations currently happening but also teach teens how to prevent future bullying and healthier ways to cope with the effects of bullying. Learning healthier coping mechanisms and practicing better communication habits help teens stand up to bullies without feeling defeated or weak. In programs like this, they learn how to be assertive and how to put themselves first.

Reach Out to Imagine Fort Collins Today

If you’re searching for teen treatment programs for bullying in Colorado, contact Imagine Fort Collins today. Call 888.291.2309 or reach out to our team online.