Against the background of increasing the influence of social networks, cyberbullying has gained more and more importance, especially among teenagers, says psychologist Teodor Raileanu, in an interview with AGERPRES.
Bullying, in any form of it, strikes in esteem and self-image, in "that image that we humans project in front of others in order to be appreciated, to be accepted, to be joined by others".
''Self-image and self-esteem, being deeply rooted affectively in our personality, any aggression on the self-image we feel extremely strongly. It hits us very deeply. That is why the effect of cyberbullying should not be minimized, especially since teenagers are very active on social networks," says the psychologist, who shows that cyberbullying is devastating for a teenager who has just discovered his identity and wants to show it to the world.
For a bad joke to become cyberbullying, it must be repeated, says the psychologist, adding that this aspect can be stopped relatively simply "You block, you close, you get off the network, you block the aggressor", as a protection mechanism.
The people to whom adolescents can turn are parents, teachers, authorities.
"Respecting the needs of the teenager, we gain his/her trust. And if our teenager takes courage, comes and tells us that he/she is the victim of cyberbullying or even real bullying, the first word that must be up to the parents' heads must be of understanding, empathy and openness for the child. The child should be encouraged to talk, he/she should be asked how he/she wants to be helped and we must assure him/her that, no matter what decision he/she makes as a teenager, we, as parents, support him/her and join him/her," says the psychologist.
"We know that teenagers paint their hair pink, purple, they put chains, T-shirts with all kinds of nonsense. They are very attached to fashion. Why? Precisely because they have this need to manifest their identity, to show that they are individuals, personalities. Or once with the appearance of social networks, this manifestation of identity manifests itself online. That's why a Like is so important, so important a Share and that's why cyberbullying is so devastating for a teenager who has just discovered his/her identity and wants to show it to the world," adds the psychologist.
According to Raileanu, "adolescence is practically the passing into adulthood of the child, it being a period of transition also with hormonal, social, and psychological implications. It involves a breaking of adults and parents and entering the world as an independent adult. As is normal, it is a break with parental authority. If I'm dealing with cyberbullying, I've said I need to report, notify the family or the authorities".
"We can say that those who do online bullying, online bullies, if they are the same age as teenagers, do it either to draw attention to them, because they feel inferior from this point of view, or they feel threatened by the victim. It's more beautiful, it's more distinguished, it has more followers. He can do this also because he has frustrations and feelings that it cannot validate otherwise and needs to be validated," says Raileanu.