Cyberbullying is a serious issue for parents in today’s digital world. Unlike traditional bullying, it can happen anytime and anywhere, and can take many forms. This 5-minute parental guide explores the differences between cyberbullying and bullying, and the unique challenges and risks associated with online harassment.

We’ll provide practical tips and strategies for parents to help protect their children from cyberbullying, and how to support them if they become a victim.

So what is the difference between cyberbullying and bullying? Let’s figure out in this blog!

What is the difference between cyberbullying and bullying?

Bullying is any repeated aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. It can take many forms, including physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. Bullying can occur on a playground or in a classroom, or it can occur online, through social media, texting, or other forms of digital communication.

For example:

Cyberbullying specifically refers to bullying that takes place online. This can include sending threatening or abusive messages or images, spreading rumors or false information, or excluding someone from online social groups or activities.

For example:

There are some key differences between bullying and cyberbullying:

  • Location:
    • Bullying typically occurs in person, while
    • Cyberbullying can occur anywhere there is an internet connection
  • Audience:
    • Bullying may be witnessed by a small group of people, while
    • Cyberbullying has the potential to be witnessed by a much larger audience, as messages and images can be shared widely and quickly online.

What is the difference between cyberbullying and bullying?

  • Duration:
    • Bullying may be a one-time event or may occur over a period of time, while
    • Cyberbullying can continue indefinitely, as messages and images can be stored and accessed long after they were originally sent.
  • Anonymity:
    • Cyberbullies may be able to remain anonymous, making it more difficult for victims to identify the source of the abuse and for authorities to take action.

Is cyberbullying common than bullying?

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Is cyberbullying worse than physical bullying? It is difficult to accurately compare the prevalence of cyberbullying and traditional bullying, as different studies may use different definitions and methods of measurement. However, research suggests that both forms of bullying are common and can have serious consequences for victims.

According to a 2019 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the US:

20% of high school students reported being bullied on school in the past year, and 16% reported being bullied online

A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that:

15% of teens aged 12-17 reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past year

It is important to recognize that bullying and cyberbullying can occur in any community and can affect people of all ages.

So, what are different types of cyberbullying?

There are many different types of cyberbullying, and the specific tactics used may vary depending on the individual. Here are a few examples of common types of cyberbullying:

  1. Harassing or threatening messages: Sending threatening or abusive messages or images through email, social media, or other online platforms.
  2. Exclusion: Excluding someone from online social groups or activities, such as by unfriending or blocking them on social media.
  3. Impersonation: Pretending to be someone else online to cause harm or embarrassment to the person being impersonated.

This real case is about a young girl named Megan who was already feeling very sad for a long time. She started feeling this way when she was only eight years old, and she Megan took her own life in her bedroom when she was just thirteen years old..

Real sad story of a victim of cyberbullying
Megan Meier

One of Megan’s neighbors, who was a woman, created a fake account on a website called MySpace. The neighbor pretended to be a boy named Josh Evans just to make fun of Megan. Later, the fake person turned mean and started talking about rumors they had heard.

At first, they talked privately, but then the fake person started sharing their private conversations with other people and said terrible things, like the world would be better without Megan. She felt so hopeless and then the worst things happen, she died when she is just 13 years old.

4. Spreading rumors or false information: To harm victims’ reputation or cause them distress.

In 2012, Canadian high school student Amanda Todd hanged herself after being blackmailed by a stalker and suffering from repeated cyberbulling and harassment at school. On September 7, Todd posted a 9-minute YouTube video titled My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self-harm, which showed her using a series of flashcards to tell of her experiences being bullied.


5. Posting embarrassing or private information: Sharing embarrassing or private information about someone online without their consent.

A real sad case is about Damilya: Damilya took her own life after her boyfriend threatened to attack Damilya and reveal her private sexual photos and videos.

why do teens sext

6. Tricking someone into revealing personal information: Tricking someone into revealing personal information, such as passwords or home address, which can then be used to cause them harm or embarrassment.

As a case in point, the disappearance of Kaylee Jones who is 16 years old, had shared personal information, including her family’s address, with some “guys” she was speaking to online, according to news from Fox News Digital

What harms were children experiencing online?

Jones’s parents previously explained to Fox News Digital that two days before their daughter’s disappearance, they confiscated her phone to discipline her, at which point the 16-year-old turned to her laptop and began communicating with strangers on chatrooms like Omegle – a website that allows users to anonymously send direct messages or video-chat with one another.

Warning signs your child is being cyberbullied!

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Some signs of children are being cyberbullying parents must be aware:

  1. Change in behavior: Your child becomes withdrawn, anxious, or depressed, or if they show a sudden change in behavior
  2. Avoidance of technology: If your child becomes hesitant to use their phone, computer, or if they avoid social media or other online activities
  3. Changes in sleep or appetite: Cyberbullying can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health, and changes in sleep patterns or appetite could be a sign that your child is struggling.
  4. Physical symptoms: Stress and anxiety caused by cyberbullying can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, or changes in physical activity.
  5. Decrease in grades or performance: Cyberbullying can interfere with a child’s ability to concentrate and perform at their best, which may result in a decline in grades.

You can read full signs at: 11 warning signs of Cyberbullying – Recognize now before it is too late!

It is important to remember that:

Children may not always feel comfortable talking about it, so it is necessary to pay close attention to changes in behavior

If you suspect that your child is being cyberbullied, it is important to talk to them about your concerns and to provide them with support and resources to help them cope.

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