As mental health is being discussed more than ever in the wake of the pandemic, Microsoft’s Digital Civility Research offers insights into how Indians treat others online. The global research surveyed a total of 4,511 people across nine countries in the Asia Pacific.
Microsoft Digital Civility Research
According to Microsoft, 38 percent of Indian consumers (34 percent of adults and 43 percent of teenagers) were involved in a “bullying incident.” 25 percent of Indian consumers said they were bullied. Meanwhile, 17 percent said they were bystanders or witnesses to bullying or harassment incidents.
The study also offers insights into how Indian companies treat their employees both in and outside their workplace. While 15 percent reported workplace harassment, 27 percent reported harassment occurring outside of their workplace.
The number of bullying incidents occurring outside of the workplace could be higher as companies transitioned to ‘work-from-home’ arrangements during the lockdown.
“Workplace bullying is a particular challenge during the current pandemic, with separate Microsoft research on the future of work highlighting an increased blending of life and work,” said Microsoft India’s Keshav Dhakad.
The global impact of online bullying
Globally, 58 percent of respondents felt humiliated after facing harassment. While 52 percent felt demoralized, 51 percent felt a loss of self-confidence. However, the impact of bullying varies across the generations, according to the study.
53 percent of respondents aged 18-24 reported feeling isolated and depressed as a consequence of bullying. 58 percent of Gen X respondents (those born between 1965 and 1980) reported being less productive at work.
Globally, people also reported having “unbearable or severe” levels of pain from online bullying or workplace harassment.
How Indians respond to online bullying
70 percent of Indians who were the target of online bullying or harassment blocked the bully. Meanwhile, 58 percent of Indians talked to a friend about what happened.
While, 43 percent of Indians reported the incident to a parent, teacher, or trusted adult, 28 percent of Indians had reported the incident to a social media company or other providers.
“We want to encourage people of all ages to report any cyberbullying or online harassment to the relevant online service provider. User-reporting plays an important role in helping everyone to have safe and trusted online experiences,” Dhakad added.
Check out what is cyberbullying, how it affects people both physically and mentally, how to prevent it, and where to report cyberbullying.