Online Bullying

A summary report by Edward Naillon
 

Why should we care?



One of the most important issues we face, as we infuse education with technology and access, is the issue of online or "cyber" bullying. Bullying can adversely impact every aspect of a young person's life. Performance, Self Esteem, Confidence, Happiness and even the Will to Live can be impacted. As our young people learn to navigate the tumultuous waters of inter-personal digital access, they can over-reach what is kind and acceptable.  We must all be aware of what is happening on line,  and what the serious implications for our youth can be.

Ed
 

Statistics



According to dosomething.org:

  1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
  2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online. Filling up your friends' Facebook feeds with positive posts instead of negative ones can boost school-wide morale. Start a Facebook page for students to submit positive acts they see in school to promote a culture of positivity on and offline. Sign up for Positivity Page.
  3. Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.
  4. 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.
  5. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
  6. 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop.
  7. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
  8. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
  9. About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once.
  10. Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide
  11. About 75% of students admit they have visited a website bashing another student.

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying



Where does bullying happen online?

Online bullying can happen anywhere messages or images can be posted and shared. Today's mobile devices give our children instant access to these resources. According to momsteam.com:

With the advent of apps like Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, etc., cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent than ever. Everyday there are over 150,000 kids nationwide who stay home from school because of bullying; and it seems like every week there's a story in the news about a child committing suicide because they were bullied, which is one too many.  

While cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon, the consequences are far-reaching and similar to those of physical and emotional bullying. Victims may experience psychological and emotional damage, severe depression, anxiety, anger-and even suicidal behavior.

According to the website, StopItcyberbully.com, types of cyberbullying include, .but are not limited to:

  • Flaming: Using inappropriate or vulgar language .to attack or fight with someone.
  • Harrassing: Repeatedly sending inappropriate, hurtful or hateful messages.
  • Outing: Sharing a victim's secrets or personal information in a public forum.
  • Exclusion: Intentionally and publicly excluding someone from a group, and tormenting them .after exclusion.
  • Impersonation: Posing as someone for the purposes of damaging their reputation, inviting an attack, or sharing real or fabricated information about them.
  • Stalking: Electronically "following" someone and sending them targeted messages with the intention of scaring, harming or intimidating them.

Worst 3 social media sites for bullying

According to Detective Sgt. Thomas Rich, a certified NJ police officer and the creator and founder of Always Connected, a program developed to "inform law enforcement, educators, administration, youth workers, youth groups, parents and children of all ages how to utilize technology in a positive way," and Todd Shobel, President of STOPit, which is helping students, schools and parents stand up against cyberbullying through use of an innovative iPhone and Android app, the worst three social media sites for bullying are:

1. Facebook - Of course, cyberbullying is happening on Facebook, and despite the network's recent decline in popularity among teens, millions still congregate there. One of the most common forms of bullying on Facebook is harsh commenting on users' self-photos (selfies). It's a vicious circle, really, as teens who post photos are often looking for positive affirmation and end up getting the opposite.

2. Instagram - An unfortunate byproduct of the rise of Instagram is the popularity of "rate me" posts or impromptu beauty contests. Teens, most frequently girls (but boys get into the act too), post pictures of themselves with a hashtag (#rateme, #hotornot) or referencing a contest (#custestteen) looking for likes or positive comments. Not surprisingly, many of the comments are anything but positive. Instagram users who set their accounts to private can avoid unwanted comments from strangers.

3. Ask.fm - From what Rich and Shobel have seen, the ratio of negative comments to positive ones is highest on Ask.fm, for a very straightforward reason. "Good" kids usually sign up for Ask.fm using their real name, but are not required to do so. Bullies are free to sign up for a fully anonymous account, and therefore can bully without fear of their real identity being uncovered. Ask.fm has been linked to 9 teen suicides in the past year.

Read More Here at momsTEAM

A heart can literally be broken in a millisecond. A child can be fine one moment and in deep despair the next. It can happen while we watch, without us even knowing, unless we know our students and recognize the symptoms.

We as Educators and Parents should be on the lookout for the following signs that a child may be the victim of cyberbullying:

  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Unexpectedly stops using phone or computer
  • Appears nervous or jumpy when an Instant Message, text message, or Email appears 
  • Appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using phone or computer 
  • Becomes abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
  • Expresses reluctance or refuses to participate in activities previously enjoyed

Here is a Poster from an Ohio Anti-Bullying contest. It really says it all, Maybe your students can say it in another way that touches hearts and changes minds!

Download PDFs of poster here!


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