The Ugly Truth Behind Cyberbullying

2 minutes

Tina came home, walked straight to her room and closed the door. She buried her head in her hands and without much trying from her side, the tears began to flow. She reclined on her bed and soon was howling when her mother rushed in, worried about what had happened to her usually cheerful 12-year-old daughter. Tina was crying so hard, she could barely get the words out. Tina finally managed to blurt them out

I had my period today

Cyber Bullying is dangerous for children

Her mother was puzzled and asked –


Still sobbing furiously, Tina continued –

My skirt was stained and a boy pointed it out to me and then everyone started pointing and laughing

Her mother smiled and reassured her –

Sweetie, no one will even remember tomorrow. And who cares about what the others say?

Tina nodded, though she was not entirely convinced. She then changed and plonked onto her bed in her comfy pyjamas. She logged in to Instagram on her phone and saw that she had so many notifications, more than she even had on her birthday. And then to her horror, Tina saw that her newsfeed was flooded with memes and jokes about periods. Her nightmare of a day had become a virtual reality.

According to, cyber bullying is defined as, ‘‘bullying through email, instant messaging, in a chat room, on a website or gaming site, or through digital messages or images sent to a cellular phone.

Although sharing certain features in common with traditional bullying, cyber bullying not only looks and feels a bit different but also presents some unique challenges when it comes to dealing with it.

traditional cyber bullying

According to the studies conducted by Michele Hamm, researcher of pediatrics at University of Alberta, which was published in the journal ‘JAMA Pediatrics’, there is a clear link between cyberbullying and depression. While no concrete relation between cyberbullying and anxiety or cyber bullying and self-harm was seen, ALL ten studies established the relationship between cyberbullying and depression.

Not only does cyberbullying increase depression, but depressed children also seem to be bigger targets of cyberbullying. However, what is most disturbing is that most cyber bully victims suffer in silence because they fear that telling on the perpetrators will get their internet time taken away.

So the trick lies in parents teaching their children about safe internet usage, and knowing that taking away internet time will not serve the purpose.

Is social media causing your child anxiety? We are here to help. Get in touch with our experts at YourDOST and avail help and support immediately!

Shailaja Shyamsukha

Shailaja is a special friend at YourDOST. She is a practicing psychologist with 2 years of experience. She has studied psychology from GITAM UNIVERSITY. She currently lives in Mumbai.