Bullying and cyberbullying
It is a type of intentional violence which can be physical, psychological or verbal against one or more persons, either individually or as a group. It is characterized by being progressive and reiterative and because it intends to harass, intimidate, ridicule or exclude the victim. Bullying between underage kids occurs usually in school.
The use of new information and communications technologies is part of a new form of harassment called cyberbullying. This type of harassment can be done through email, text messages, comments in online publications, audio, images or videos in social networks.
When bullying occurs, either in school or through new information and communications technologies, the following persons take part:
- The victim: Is a weak person who is not capable of defending themselves when experiencingintimidation or harassment.
- The aggressor: Is the person who is intimidating or harassing someone else.
- The observer: Each and every person who while witnessing a situation of mistreatment or harassment, does nothing to stop said situation.
Notwithstanding having similar effects than bullying, the damage caused by cyberbullying is usually larger due to the Internet giving a feeling of anonymity to the aggressor which drives them to harass even more, by transforming them in some kind of ghost while difficulting response or protection mechanisms against the aggressions.
Since cyberbullying is a form of direct harassment that is not carried out face to face, the aggressor has not direct contact with the victim, i.e. does not see their eyes, face nor the pain caused, thus does not empathize with the victim nor feels any compassion. The cyberaggressor gets satisfaction from planning a violent act and imagining the damage it will cause to the other person, since they cannot witness it in situ.