A hot topic for educators, policy makers, parents, and students is cyberbullying.
What is it?
- According to Hinduja and Patchin (2015), cyberbullying is the “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices” (p. 11).
Who is affected?
- Teens ages 12-18 seem to be the most affected. “Boys are more likely to be threatened online than girls” (Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014, 2016).
When is it happening?
- All the time! “95% of teens are online” (Hinduja & Patchin, 2015, p. 24).
Where is it happening?
- Social media seems to be the main culprit – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, just to name a few. You name an app or website that allows users to talk to one another, and I guarantee you’ll find cyberbullying. Let me clarify – cyberbullying is NOT the only communication happening on social media. Social media is a great tool for educators to connect to other educators and for students to connect to their peers.
Why does is happen?
- As long as humans have been alive, bullying has been around. The “I’m better than you” mindset has always plagued humans. Cyberbullying is another method of tormenting others. I feel that it is worse than typical bullying because offenders have the anonymity of a username or phone number to hide behind. It makes it harder to determine who the culprit actually is.
In conclusion, cyberbullying is a threat that is targeting the youth of today and isn’t going anywhere unless adults in all aspects of their lives get involved and help make a difference. I want to leave you with an infographic below from Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014 (2016) that shows some of the scary statistics of how cyberbullying affects children.
Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014. (2016, July 20). Retrieved August 07, 2016, from http://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-2014/
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2015). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.