What kind of bullying is worse

Dangerous Consequences: Why Internet Bullying Is Particularly Bad

There was Matthew Burdette from San Diego. A classmate had filmed him masturbating and published the video online. Two weeks Matthew lived with ridicule. Then he wrote, "I don't want to die, but I have no friends" and took his own life. He was 14 years old. There was Amanda Todd, 15. In one video, the girl from Port Coquitlam, Canada, told the story of cyberbullying for eight minutes and 55 seconds. Mute: She held 74 pieces of paper in the camera with sentences like: "I have no one." She hanged herself in her nursery.

Cyberbullying is particularly severe. But they show how severe the psychological consequences are for those affected by such attacks. Many suffer from depression, develop eating disorders or no longer dare to leave the house. There is no escape from digital bullying, not even at home, in your own room. "That is why the injuries in cyberbullying go much deeper," says youth psychiatrist Michael Schulte-Markwort, who heads child and youth psychosomatics at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. In addition, the perpetrators are often even more unscrupulous: "They also don't see what that does to the victim."

Ten to twenty percent of children and adolescents are affected, estimates Schulte-Markwort, in whose clinic at least eight of the 80 therapy places are occupied by victims of bullying. But there are also studies that assume up to 82 percent. In a survey of 1,734 schoolchildren (14 to 20 years old), however, only six percent described themselves as “victims”. But a third had had “bad experiences”. It shows that the distinction between normal malice and targeted cyberbullying is still difficult, even for scientists.

Become active at the first alarm signals

In addition, there is no clear type of victim. "It can affect both the shy and the socially incompetent, but also those who envy everyone," says Schulte-Markwort. Even celebrities like millionaire heiress Paris Hilton have been victims of cyberbullying. It just hits the shy ones who don't have a stable circle of friends much harder. Even a single child who comes to the aid of such a victim online can make a huge difference for the victims, says Schulte-Markwort.