It’s a nasty thing to think about, and is often the unspoken elephant in the room, but when a fifth of all young people are victim to it, how come bullying is still such a taboo subject?
A study conducted by charity, Ditch the Label, found that 1/5 young people have been subjected to physical, verbal and cyber bullying. And the worst part is that the figures are almost identical to what was found last year – change just isn’t coming fast enough.
More than 2,000 young people aged 12-20 took Ditch the Label’s survey. It found that, of bully victims, three quarters said their mental health was suffering as a result. Many were dealing with depression, too.
The findings highlighted a shocking reality, that…
Bullying can come in many forms, and though least common, cyberbullying can have terrible consequences for its victims. According to the BBC, ‘Some children who were bullied described cyberbullying as a major part of the problem, with one 14-year-old boy adding: "I go to school and get bullied. Go home and online and still get bullied. I can't ever escape it."
The pervasive, inescapable nature of social media, though intended to unite people, opens users up to round-the-clock harassment and abuse.
Social media platforms are becoming ever more diligent when it comes to protecting its users from everything from cyberbullying, to insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, but sometimes the best thing to do is switch off and unplug yourself from the digital world.
If you’re glued to Instagram and Facebook, consider redirecting the energy you invest into the digi-social sphere into something constructive and productive.
Consider spending the time listening to podcasts instead, or picking up a book. Take a walk outside to clear your head and get some perspective, focus on you instead of the unrealistic lifestyles that others portray on their socials.
While that’s all well and good though, we appreciate that sometimes disconnecting and distancing yourself from the problem is easier said than done. Or it just isn’t enough.
In the cases where bullying is having a detrimental impact on your life, don’t bottle up your feelings, ignore the problem in hopes that it will go away – the best thing you can do is to reach out and talk to someone. Whether it’s friends or family who can lend a supportive ear, a favourite teacher, tutor or mentor, or even online support groups, chat sites and dedicated phone lines, you’re never alone.
Sometimes, reaching out is the best lifeline you can give yourself.
Need someone to talk to? Head to…
LUCY HARDING is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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