Cyberbullying is generally defined as bullying tactics used against an individual using the internet, cell phones or other technologies. Learn about the essential Cyberbullying Facts!
Cyberbullying differs from conventional bullying in that the harassment or torment is not done in the victim’s physical presence.
Cyberbullying facts provided by sites such as www.dosomething.com show us that cyberbullying is done virtually by means of social media sites, gaming sites, chat rooms and text messaging. Although there is no physical abuse involved, cyberbullying has proven to be just as emotionally damaging to victims as physical bullying. Many believe that cyberbullying is more emotionally damaging because the bully has unlimited access to their victims. One of the best ways to counteract cyberbullying is to educate yourself concerning cyberbullying facts. According to the Do Something Foundation www.dosomething.org, here are a few cyberbullying facts you should be aware of.
Cyberbullying Facts: More Victims Than You Think
Just because your child has not told you about experiencing cyberbullying, does not mean they have not been a victim. The truth is almost 43% of kids have been victimized by cyberbullying to some degree. Though many cases are not severe or ongoing, 1 in 4 cases is repetitive. Children will often not discuss cyberbullying with their parents for fear of having their technological privileges taken away. Most children would rather put up with the bullying rather than lose these privileges.
Cyberbullying Facts: Why It Is So Easy
Cyberbullying is such a prevalent problem because internet and cell phone use are the norms for most kids and teenagers. 80% of teens use cell phones on a daily basis. Most of these cell phones are for the sole use of the teen making it difficult for parents to monitor what takes place. When you add to that the overly defensive sense of privacy that is normal in the teen years, you can see how it is nearly impossible for parents to put healthy limits on communication with possible bullies.
Cyberbullying Facts: What Teens Think
Even though cyberbullying is mostly carried out by teens on teens, cyberbullying facts show us teenagers still think this is an issue that should be addressed. 68% of teens say that cyberbullying is a big problem that can have a lasting emotional impact on young people. The challenge lies in helping kids and teens understand how to put healthy limits on their contact with others. This is especially true once the child or teen realizes that the person they are in contact with has bullying tendencies. The complicated world of appropriate social interaction is still developing in the teen years, and most teens need guidance but are resistant to asking for help.
Cyberbullying Facts: Getting Teens to Help Each Other
Another challenge involving cyberbullying is trying to rally young people to help one another when they see a friend or a classmate being victimized by a bully. A surprising 90% of teens report that they have seen friends or classmates being victims of cyberbullying and instead of helping they ignored it. This is probably one of the biggest contributors to this ongoing problem. When teens or adults ignore the problem, the bullies are empowered to continue their destructive behaviour.
Cyberbullying Facts: Silent Victims
Another reason that cyberbullying facts are not common knowledge as they should be is that victims continue to be silent about the abuse. Only one in ten victims will ever tell their parents about their cyberbullying issues. This means that for every child that tells and seeks help, nine other children continue to deal with this emotionally damaging abuse alone. When kids and teens try to deal with such big problems on their own, many will begin to experience severe depression. The continued silence worsens the depression because now they feel bad about the cyberbullying and they are ashamed of their depression. This is a very destructive cycle for a young person to endure.
Cyberbullying Facts: The Extreme Cases
In the most extreme examples of cyberbullying and its emotional effect on young people, we see teens and even some younger children, became very suicidal. In fact, victims of physical and cyberbullying are 2-9 times more likely to consider committing suicide. You can imagine how emotionally traumatizing this type of abuse must be to push a normally stable young person into suicidal thoughts or actions. When you combine the emotional stress of constantly being bullied, with the added pressure of thinking you must deal with all of it by yourself, you can see how young people begin to feel desperate.
What Can Be Done
There is hope for kids that are victims of cyberbullying. Parents must take a more aggressively active role in their children’s online lives. Even if the child is resistant at first, parents must explain to their children that there is either parental involvement or there will have to be extremely limited access to technological devices. Most children would rather simply have their parents involved rather than lose their privileges altogether. Take action when you see cyberbullying take place. And if the situation is extreme or has become harassing, report cyberbullies so that there can be an end to this abuse.