Tech Savvy Bullies

Tech Savvy Bullies

“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 (, 2016).

1“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”
Brendan Dooling


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.

  1. Change your privacy settings
  2. Change your social media profile, and passwords
  3. Talk to someone like a counselor, or a parent, or kidshelphone 
  4. Ignore messages
  5. Block the bully
  6. Contact an authority from the school or police if needed
  7. Keep records of the harassment




Cyber Bullying Quotes. (2016). Retrieved 23 November 2016, from

CyberBully Fist. (2016). Retrieved from

Ditch The Label,. (2013). The Annual Cyberbullying Survey 2013. Retrieved from

Kids Help Phone. (2016). Retrieved from

Lenhart, A. (2007). Cyberbullying. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved 21 November 2016, from

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

National Crime Prevention Council,. (2007). Teens and Cyberbullying. HarrisInteractive. Retrieved from,. (2016). What is Cyberbullying | Retrieved 23 November 2016, from







8 thoughts on “Tech Savvy Bullies

  1. I read an article that said sadism and masochism are common qualities among cyberbullies. It’s pretty sad that the Internet, designed for information sharing and perpetrator of so much good, can all be a denizen for the sick and twisted. I think the only effective filter for cyberbullying, and pretty much everything else on the Internet, for that matter, is our own personal filters. We need to make sure we are not the ones accidentally or purposefully spreading hate. Only when the whole world figures that out will bullying be stopped. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening very soon. Thanks for sharing some positive ways we can prevent cyberbullying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Self censorship, I think at least, should be used way more often than it is. If that were the case, censorship may not be as prominent an issue. Though, it tends to be used far too less by people when they are trying to be antagonizing, or don’t see their words as hurtful.


  2. I missed the cyber-bullying phenomenon by a few years, and that is probably the source of my ignorance, but I’m one of those (admittedly horrible) people that says insensitive things like, “Why don’t they just turn off their computer?”

    The argument against people like me, as I understand it, is that kids have a hard time disengaging or ignoring hateful communications. I can understand that, but I was never one of those kids when I was growing up (I always found it very easy to disengage from bullies in the physical world), so I always find it difficult to place myself in those shoes. I do my best to listen to these stories and wait for the day that the lightbulb of understanding goes off in my head.

    I don’t mean for this next part to apply to children or teens who are being bullied, but there is a lot to be said about the need to grow a thicker skin when it comes to cyberbullies as an adult. Especially for those who plan to work in journalism. I read an interesting story this morning from a graduate of our program, who now works for Vice Media, about a bounty that was recently placed on him by some alt-right reddit users in response to a story he wrote ( As a journalist, you place yourself and your opinions in the public eye, and this attracts a lot of bullies and trolls. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but a thick skin is what you’ll need in order to survive as a journalist.

    Great post. Gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are really good points!
      I agree with you to a point. The older i got, the easier it was to avoid the bullies or ignore them so they lose interest. Unfortunately, kids and youths are generally insecure. They tend to be vulnerable because they want everyone to like them. I think that that is one of the reasons that they don’t simply disconnect. Beyond that though, in extreme cases there isn’t a safe place for them to disconnect to. Once they are content with who they are (confidence, self-esteem, self-love and such) bullies tend to be more annoying than hurtful.

      On that note, as an adult, you have (hopefully) gotten more aware of and comfortable with yourself. The bullying from others don’t have as much of an emotional impact. Though as an adult, there is more of a distinction between a bully and a critic. Both can be nasty but a critic merely criticizes the ideas. As an adult, and especially as a journalist, critics are helpful in strengthening and validating ideas, and arguments.


      1. I agree, critics can definitely help you grow. I wonder what the difference is between a bully and a critic and a troll. We’re going to need a chart or something.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cyberbullying is becoming a bigger problem with the increased use of social media! I read an article stating that the 3rd highest cause of death in 2015 and 2016 was child suicide as a result of bullying! I think this statistic is extremely sad. However, I don’t think that too much can be done to reduce this number other then for people to protects themselves on social media whether it be blocking or increasing they privacy settings. That being said I do think it will help a little if schools become more involved with the issue and take more serious action against students when they receive complaints; however, this might not be as effective as the first solution because cyber-bullied children don’t necessarily tell their teachers or parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post about a serious and under represented issue. People don’t understand how pervasive it can be and how just “logging off” isn’t always an option. Hopefully the new First Lady’s focus on this issue can help to bring more attention to it. In our age of social media, it is becoming more and more of a concern and steps need to be taken to protect people from the kinds of abuse and bullying that you mention in your post.


  5. Bullying is something that can happen to anyone at anytime. I used to watch movies and see bullied characters and be like “why cant they just report to an authority, or their parents?”. it wasn’t until I was bullied myself that I understood what it felt like and how it affects your actions, your thought process and basically your life.


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