Cyberbullying education is key to stop cyberbullies in their tracks. Many elementary and middle schools have no curriculum that informs students about the dangers of cyberbullying, which is a problem. It is important schools teach children and teens how to deal with cyberbully situations because cyberbullies are not only behind a computer screen, but also walking the hallways of school.
This educational video is meant to show students how to handle cyberbullies in an appropriate manner. The video is effective because it shows real students, not paid actors who are unrealistic and foreign to students. More schools should have mandatory viewings of educational cyberbullying videos in order to help stop the problem all together.
Cyberbullying takes it’s form in many different shapes. Where? Who? What? That’s the thing. You cannot pin cyberbullying on a specific demographic. This video explains that cyberbullying is like a virus, taking many forms and extremely hard to tell where it’s coming from. There are so many new “trendy” things that young adults do that can be construed as cyberbullying. For example, “TBH” which translates to “To Be Honest” and how that works is when you like someones “TBH” they write on your wall with something that is with no reservation, the truth. All these forms of cyberbullying leave multiple generations and demographics sustainable to being a victim of cyberbullying. Watch this video to learn more about how to prevent cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is expanding as new social media platforms are being created. One of the most popular ways that teens today are using to share their interests, life updates, and hobbies is through Instagram.
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app. An average of 55 million photos are shared each day on Instagram. Since the app has become popular, it has also attracted cyberbullies. Here’s a few different ways the Instagram bully works
- Post a malicious or embarrassing photo of a target for all of their followers to see
- Write a caption on a disgusting or insulting photo and tag it with a target’s username
- Post cruel remarks under a photo that someone else posts
- Use the “Add People” feature and tag an image with the target’s name
- Add a mean hashtag under a photo
- Create a fake account with the victim’s name
- Post screenshots of private text messages
- Post embarrassing screenshots while using FaceTime
The Cyber Bully Virus is a popular youtube video that shows the dangers of cyberbullying in middle school aged children. The video uncovers some of the brutal realities that victims face on a daily basis, and the emotional harm cyberbullying may cause.
One comment on the video stands out, “There is a way to avoid [cyberbullying] actually: just don’t use the Internet.” This comment shows how ignorant some adults are towards the issue. We need to make a change. Watch the video below:
Most bully victims do not report the harassment to adults. A recent survey found that 14% of students in Texas have experienced cyberbullying. 90% of those students did not tell an adult about the cyberbullying.
It is evident that most students do not speak out because they feel embarrassed or fear that the bullying will get worse. Parents and adults should monitor any changes in behavior, especially if a child starts to withdraw, has trouble sleeping and eating, or if their “bad days” pile up. This will help identify if the child is a victim of bullying or/and cyberbullying.
Today, cyberbullying is not just about having one bully target a victim. It is about everyone talking behind each other’s back.
Cyberbullying has become more common today because of the advancement of technology. Teens now are using anonymous messaging applications on their phones to bully others. These apps allows for them to use fake numbers to call and text others.
Experts have defined cyberbullying as the actions of someone being hurtful repeatedly and deliberately to others.
Recently, Google Chrome added an extension which acts as a spellcheck for negative language. This extension lets the writer think twice about what they are about to send and gives them an opportunity to change it.
On Easter Sunday 2012, Grace McComas committed suicide. The year prior, Grace was drugged and raped by her neighbor’s son. Grace was the target of cyberbullying attacks from her peers and her rapist.
A Twitter post by her rapist read, “i hatehatehatehatehatehatehate you. Next time my name rolls off your tongue, choke on it.. and DIE.”
The cyberbullying and harassment that Grace encountered partly led to her depression and anxiety. She eventually couldn’t take anymore of the pain and the harassment and took her life.
The incident was reported to school officials but they did not take any actions towards helping Grace. Today, her parents continue to fight against cyberbullying in the Maryland school districts. Their efforts have helped passed Grace’s Law, which:
“Prohibits a person from using an interactive computer service to maliciously engage in a specified course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury under specified circumstances; and defining terms.”
This story is heartbreaking especially since Grace’s death could have been prevented if the school officials would have taken the right actions. It is sad to hear that another child has died because of cyberbullying.
Please read Grace’s story through the voice of her mom.