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View all blog posts under Articles. The internet is a defining factor of modern education. In fact, education has become more accessible and widespread than ever before because of the internet. From using digital textbooks to earning a degree onlinemore classroom functions and student experiences are moving into cyberspace — including, unfortunately, bullying. Despite all the good that the internet has brought to students, parents, and teachers alike, there are people who use it with malicious intent.
And just as bullying has existed since the dawn of time, virtual bullying has existed since the beginning of the internet. This guide on what cyberbullying is from Maryville University Online will help you learn everything you need to know about cyberbullying, from relevant facts and statistics to helpful resources, so you can keep your teen safe online.
So exactly what is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is more common than you may think. And for many teenagers, young adults, and social media users, it poses a very real threat. There are a few aspects of cyberbullying that differentiate it from traditional bullying, which make it a unique concern for Looking for cyber fun maybe more and teachers. The difference between cyberbullying and bullying is clear, but cyberbullying is still bullying, and the consequences and dangers remain the same, if not increased in their severity and duration.
Even though it occurs online instead of in person, cyberbullying needs to be taken as seriously as traditional bullying. As technology has developed over the past 20 years, cyberbullying has become an increasingly larger issue. The immense popularity of smartphones, instant messaging apps, and the rise of social media have opened up an ever-growing of ways for cyberbullies to hurt their targets.
Various forms of cyberbullying often overlap, and the bully may choose to employ or combine multiple tactics to hurt their target. For example, they may share private information about someone after gaining access to their. In addition, all these different kinds of cyberbullying may take place on different devices, social media websites, forums, text messages, or mobile apps.
Someone may not even realize they are bullying someone, or even that they are being bullied. Much like offline harassment, online harassment involves sending abusive or offensive messages to an individual or group. Harassment takes great effort on the part of the bully to hurt the victim. Further, it is intentional, repeated, and constant. The victim will often have no reprieve from the bully. Cyberstalking is a form of harassment. These messages are often no longer just offensive or rude, but more threatening in nature. Cyberstalking can quickly lead to in-person harassment or stalking.
Exclusion is the act of deliberately ostracizing the victim. This may involve leaving them out from social media groups, chat rooms, messages, events, or activities. It may mean purposefully having conversations on social media platforms or apps that the victim does not have access to, or that they see but are unable to. The group may then go on to say cruel or rude things about the excluded person behind their back. Outing is when the bully publicly shares private messages, pictures, or other information about the victim on the internet.
The information may be trivial or more private and serious, but either way, it is a form of outing. Masquerading occurs when the bully, or possibly even bullies, assumes another identity to anonymously harass the victim. Often, the bully will know the victim well if they feel the need to hide their identity. The bully may harass or cyberstalk the Looking for cyber fun maybe more. This is typically done in an attempt to amuse themselves or humiliate the victim.
Bullying has become such a pervasive issue in recent years that there are initiatives and laws at multiple levels of government to prevent it. As of Maythere are no federal laws that specifically address bullying. Cyberstalking is a notable exception to this rule. Though there are no federal laws regarding cyberstalking specifically, it is a criminal action under other anti-stalking and harassment laws. Bullying may overlap with discrimination, harassment, or hate crimes if it is based on race, national origin, color, sex, age, disability, or religion.
If that overlap occurs, federally funded schools at all levels must address and resolve the harassment. The U. It is a free, confidential service that offers everything from counseling to technical assistance. If harassment persists, victims should consider filing a formal complaint with both the U.
Department of Education and the U. Department of Justice. All 50 states have anti-bullying laws in place. Most states also have laws meant to prevent cyberbullying. Familiarize yourself with the laws and policies in your state. There may also be local laws at the regional, county, or city level. If nothing else, most school districts or school codes of conduct contain anti-bullying language or rules. Be sure to research the various policies and laws at the local level in your area.
As discussed above, one of the most concerning aspects of what cyberbullying is includes how difficult it can be to recognize. Still, teachers should always be on the lookout for s that a student is either being a bully or being bullied. Some of the warning s of cyberbullying may overlap with those of traditional bullying.
One of these symptoms alone may not be immediate cause for concern, but if you begin to notice your teen continually exhibiting many of these behaviors, it may be time to address your concerns with them. Many teenagers hide the fact that they are being bullied, online or in person, from their parents, teachers, and other adults in their life. Do not take it personally if your teen does not tell you about being bullied. It is an intense, confusing experience that everyone responds to differently, and there are many reasons they may choose not to talk about it with anyone.
They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, worry that their online privileges will Looking for cyber fun maybe more taken away, or simply not know what cyberbullying is. They may fear that the bully will retaliate or the abuse will intensify if they speak up, or they may just want to figure out how to handle this situation on their own. Also be on the lookout for warning s that your teen might be bullying their peers. It may be unexpected or shocking, but cyberbullying is becoming more common. It is incredibly important to look for warning s that your teenager may be a bully.
Not only are they deliberately trying to hurt others, but it may also be their way of seeking attention or help. Some of the s to look for include the following:. Again, one of these warning s may not be a definite indicator that your teenager is cyberbullying others. The reasons why one teen chooses to bully another are complex and varied. They may want to feel powerful, feel the need to act out for attention, or feel like they must control others.
Traditional bullying is known to have adverse effects on victims. Academic performance can suffer and anxiety and depression can develop — and these issues can continue into adulthood. And much like traditional bullying, cyberbullying can have severe negative consequences for the victim.
As with traditional bullying, these issues may persist even after the victim is no longer suffering from cyberbullying, continuing well into adulthood. As cyberbullying becomes more common and widespread among teenagers and young adults, it becomes increasingly important for parents and teachers to prevent it from happening, to intervene when it does, and to respond appropriately to victims and bullies alike.
Sharing cyberbullying information is a good way to start. Even before they are old enough to use the internet, initiate conversations about internet safety. Be sure to keep this an open dialogue with your teen.
You will likely need to have new discussions as their online activities change and new safety concerns arise. Set clear guidelines about how you expect your young adult to behave on the internet. Let them know that you expect them to behave as ethically online as you would expect in person. Consider having your teen a youth pledge and ing a parent pledge yourself.
Remind them that there may be consequences if they violate the pledge, and ask them to help hold you able as well. Encourage them to ask you questions if anything is unclear when they are online.
In addition to general internet safety practices, educate your teen about what cyberbullying is and how to identify it. Make sure they know cyberbullying is not a joke. Just because their friends are doing it for fun does not mean that it is acceptable or that they have to participate. Emphasize that the Golden Rule — that your teen should treat others the way they want to be treated — still applies when they are online.
Teach them what it means to be a good digital citizen. Keep the lines of communication open. Let them know they can always come talk to you if they experience or encounter any cyberbullying online. Reassure your teen that they will not face repercussions or a loss of computer privileges if they are being bullied. Provide your teenager with the tools to deal with anyone who is rude to them online, including a cyberbully. Remember that informing an adult about cyberbullying can be difficult for teens, so they need to be prepared enough to handle the situation on their own.
Though it may be easier said than done, you can also encourage your teen to get offline more often. Stepping away from their devices and focusing on another activity may help distract your teenager from cyberbullying. Talk with your teen about the degree to which you will keep an eye on them. They may not be thrilled at the prospect, but explain that this is important to maintaining their safety online.
Be sure to Looking for cyber fun maybe more be open with your teen if you choose to monitor their social media s or text messages. Whether you have your suspicions or your teenager comes to you on their own, be sure to respond with love and support if you learn your teenager is experiencing cyberbullying. Always be willing to listen to what they have to say and reassure them that you are there to help them resolve this issue. Maryville University has additional reading and resources available, including social media safety precautions you can take and a guide to keeping your kids secure online.
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
Embrace Civility Initiative. Department of Civil Rights. Student Guide to Social Media. Apply Brochure. What Is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying Statistics Cyberbullying is more common than you may think. According to the National Center for Education Statistics Admissionsly notes that about 5. Teachers listed cyberbullying as the top online issue for students in a survey by Googleahead of privacy, inappropriate content, and other concerns.
The consequences of cyberbullying can be substantial for both the bullied and the bullies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. Those who are bullied are at an increased risk for anxiety and depression, as well as poor academic performance and even not finishing school; bullies are more likely to have problems with substance abuse and violence later in life. The anonymity of the internet can lead to crueler or harsher abuses from the bully, all while the victim has no means of discovering who his or her harasser is. Relentless: Bullying typically ends once the victim is removed from the negative social situation.
However, smartphones, laptops, and other devices have made it possible for people to communicate with each other at all hours and from nearly any location. Cyberbullies may be able to torment their victim 24 hours per day, seven days per week, making it difficult for the victim to escape it by going home or even changing schools.
Public: With traditional bullying, often only people who interact with those involved will know of the abuse. However, when content is posted or shared online, it is possible that anyone may see it.Looking for cyber fun maybe more
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