Cyberbullying 101

What is cyberbullying?

Kids these days are brought up surrounded by a world of technology, so it should be no surprise to us that often that exposure is premature or even an overdose. One common effect of kids using the internet, specifically social media, is cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is similar to the school yard bullying most adults of today are familiar with, except for the fact that kids no longer have the freedom of safety and solace in there own home when they leave school. The bullying follows them wherever their technology goes, and once it’s on the internet it is easy for other kids to join in and can quickly spread across mediums.

According to stopcyberbullying.org,

“Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor.

When these types of actions occur between adults it is referred to as cyber harassment or cyber stalking.

Why do kids fall into cyberbullying

“They are often motivated by anger, revenge or frustration. Sometimes they do it for entertainment or because they are bored and have too much time on their hands and too many tech toys available to them. Many do it for laughs or to get a reaction. (via stopcyberbullying.org)

Some do it by accident, and either send a message to the wrong recipient or didn’t think before they did something. The power-hungry do it to torment others and for their ego. Cyberbullying has risen with the popularity and availability of the internet.

Cyberbullying Research

In 2004 i-SAFE, an e-safety education website, conducted a cyberbullying study where they surveyed 1,500 students in grades 4 to 8.

Here’s what researches found:

• 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once.

• 35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five have had it happen more than once.

• 21 percent of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.

• 58 percent of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of 10 say it has happened more than once.

• 58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

It has been almost seven years since the i-SAFE study was conducted, and those numbers continue to rise. Cyberbullying has grown to a level that has attracted the attention of the state.