Cyberbullying: Bullying on a digital playground
Access to technology is rapidly increasing for people of all ages; With the use of technology becoming more easily accessible, there is no surprise that there has also been an increase in cyberbullying. According to Hinduja and Patchin’s 2015 book, Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, cyberbullying is defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices” (Hinduja & Patchin, p. 11). Cyberbullying is an increasing epidemic that comes in a variety of forms and can affect anyone with internet access, therefore, it is exceedingly important for students to be aware of cyberbullying and the consequences associated with cyberbullying.
Anyone and everyone with access to the internet can be affected by cyberbullying. According to iSafe.org, “42% of kids have been bullied while online [and] 1 in 3 have had it happen more than once.” (iSafe.org). There are a few key elements that make cyberbullying easier than traditional bullying including: anonymity, disinhibition, deindividuation, lack of supervision, virality, and limitless victimization risk (Hinduja & Patchin, p. 46). There are also several forms of cyberbullying that can take place.
Forms of Cyberbullying (Hinduja & Patchin, 2015)
- Rumor Spreading
- Posting of Pictures and Videos
- Captions, Commenting, and Messaging
- Information Spreading
- Tagging and Untagging
- Physical Threats
In addition to taking several forms, cyberbullying can affect anyone with internet access.
Because cyberbullying can affect anyone with internet access, it is important to make children aware of the issues and consequences related to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a growing problem that needs to be dealt with by schools, teachers and parents; Children need to be taught that there are laws and consequences that deal with cyberbullying and that if it’s happening to them, they need to report it to an adult. One way for teachers to make students more aware of issues and consequences associated with cyberbullying is to show them real-life examples of people of all ages dealing with consequences of cyberbullying. Teachers can also set up role-playing examples for students to learn how to properly deal with cyberbullies, such as ignoring them, saving conversations, and informing adults. Teachers and parents should promote appropriate use of technology and continuously monitor all internet use. I hope that over the next few years, schools begin to require courses for all students that use technology and the internet that stress the importance of appropriate use of technology for students.
Cyberbullying is a growing problem that needs to be addressed by schools, teachers, and parents to ensure students know and understand the appropriate use of technology and how to handle cyberbullies. Because anyone with internet access can by cyberbullied, students need to understand that there are consequences associated dealing with cyberbullying and should not be afraid to tell their parents and teachers when they encounter issues online. As the use of technology has increased, it has resulted in the increase of cyberbullying, which in turn has resulted in the passing of laws in almost every state to deal with and reprimand cyberbullies. The younger we teach kids how to appropriately use technology, the better chance we have of ensuring students become good digital citizens.
Texas Anti-bullying Laws and Policies
Click the link below to view Texas laws and regulations that cover bullying
Click the link below for cyberbullying statistics.
11 Facts about Cyberbullying
The following facts about cyberbullying were obtained from https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying
- Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
- 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.
- Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.
- 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.
- 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
- 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop.
- Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
- Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
- 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.
- Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
- About 75% of students admit they have visited a website bashing another student.
Stand up to Cyberbullying
Cyberbullied: How Bullies Have Moved from the Playground to the Web
Stand up to cyberbullying [Video File]. (2010, October 08). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN2fuKPDzHA
11 Facts About Cyber Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2017, from https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2015). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
Cyber bullying: Statistics and tips. (n.d.). Retrieved October 01, 2017, from https://www.isafe.org/outreach/media/media_cyber_bullying
5 Different types of cyberbullying. (2014, February 22). Retrieved September 30, 2017, from https://www.endcyberbullying.org/5-different-types-of-cyberbullying/