“Now, I’ve always known that there were bullies in the world. We’ve seen a lot of it in politics lately as well as in daily life. You see it where people who may be stronger, or bigger, or better with verbiage than other folks… show off. To me, that’s what bullying is, showing off. It’s saying, I’m better than you, I can take you down. Not just physically, but emotionally” Whoopi Goldberg
Social media fosters a new kind of environment for communication. It changes how people communication, usually for the better. However there are some aspects that haven’t changed for the better. Social media has the ability to heighten communication, for better or worse.
Cyberbullying is one of those for worse communications. It’s a kind of electronic harassment where hurtful things are spread or sent using any kind of electrical device as well as tools such as social media, instant messaging and texts. Cyberbullying is different than typical bullying because it occurs at any time, the bullies can be anonymous, and once it’s been sent it can’t easily be deleted (Stopbullying.gov, 2016).
“It’s easy to be mean when you’re anonymous. There’s a lot of people who wouldn’t have the cajones to say in person what they do online”
Ditch the label released an Annual Cyberbullying Report for 2014 which surveyed more than 100k youths. For every ten students seven have been victims of cyberbullying. 37% of them experience it regularly, and 20% experience extreme cyberbullying daily. The Pew Research Center report on cyberbullying shows that 15% of social media using teens have been the target of some kind of cyberbullying (Lenhart et al., 2011). However, 88% of social media using teens have witnessed others being unkind online (Lenhart et al., 2011).
Though, most teens (67%) claimed that bullying happens more often offline, 29% thinks it happens more online, then 3% consider it equal (Lenhart, 2007). Regardless, bullying isn’t something that should be ignored. It doesn’t matter where it happens, it should be stopped.
In terms of prevention, teens think that prevention begins at the individual level, by blocking, refusing to share mean messages, and telling others to stop. However, teens consider prevention from the school is essentially useless (National Crime Prevention Council, 2007).
There are many possible ways to prevent cyberbullying.
- Change your privacy settings
- Change your social media profile, and passwords
- Talk to someone like a counselor, or a parent, or kidshelphone
- Ignore messages
- Block the bully
- Contact an authority from the school or police if needed
- Keep records of the harassment
Cyber Bullying Quotes. (2016). Nobullying.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016, from https://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-quotes/
CyberBully Fist. (2016). Retrieved from https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/5-powerful-cyberbullying-videos-discussing-kids
Ditch The Label,. (2013). The Annual Cyberbullying Survey 2013. Retrieved from http://www.ditchthelabel.org/research-papers/the-cyberbullying-survey-2013/
Kids Help Phone. (2016). Retrieved from http://kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/Home.aspx?gclid=CMnphNaxvdACFUeCfgod2REP9g
Lenhart, A. (2007). Cyberbullying. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved 21 November 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2007/06/27/cyberbullying/
Lenhart, A., Madden, M., Smith, A., Purcell, K., Zickuhr, K., & Rainie, L. (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved 21 November 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/11/09/teens-kindness-and-cruelty-on-social-network-sites/
National Crime Prevention Council,. (2007). Teens and Cyberbullying. HarrisInteractive. Retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/Teens%20and%20Cyberbullying%20Research%20Study.pdf
Stopbullying.gov,. (2016). What is Cyberbullying | StopBullying.gov. Stopbullying.gov. Retrieved 23 November 2016, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/