Cyberbullying: How Bad Is It?
With the widespread use of cell phones and social media, it has become too easy to bully friends, classmates and coworkers online.
The simple definition of cyberbullying is to harm, harass or humiliate someone via electronic format. This can include posting hateful messages on a Facebook page, sending humiliating photos to other peoples’ cell phones or even taking videos of someone being harmed and uploading it the internet. There are just so many ways to exploit digital technology in order to hurt somebody.
National statistics report that up to 50% of students have been bullied online. What’s also interesting is that it doesn’t get any better for adults. According to a study by CNET, 80% of adults report “online meanness” in the past months.
Similar to sexting, this cyberbullying begins as soon as kids have access to the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Also, consider this: the average age of a child receiving their first cell phone is 10 years old. From that point on their world is opened up to both being bullied and bullying other people.
Every year, bullied kids fall into depression and loneliness. Their school years become marked as dark times where they were picked on constantly and they carry that burden on into their adult years. Tragically, this can even lead to suicide, such as in the case of Amanda Todd.
Knowing how widespread and prominent of an issue this really is, how will you address cyberbullying with your students?