We usually define bullying as a systematic degrading treatment. A child can be subjected to several types of degrading treatment and harassments, for example physical abuse, mean comments, and being excluded. The term bullying highlights that there is a pattern with the degrading treatment and harassment.
Just calling this pattern bullying, and not looking closer into each incident, means that we ignore the underlying causes that help us understand why it happens, and consequently the efforts to stop and prevent the bullying will be less effective.
So it may or may not be bullying, but degrading treatment. How do we define degrading treatment? We usually describe it to kids as: If you are treated in a way that makes you feel sad, hurt and devalued.
Degrading (negative) treatment can be divided into three main forms, including on social media/online. Sometimes they occur simultaneously:
Verbal – e.g. name calling, comments, rumor spreading
Physical – e.g. hitting, pushing, kicking, spreading demeaning photos
Psychosocial – e.g. excluding, ignoring, making mean or insinuating faces