We use technology for everything these days, and it comes as no surprise that children, teens, and even adults take to the Internet to engage in bullying. Cyber bullying is an act of using digital media or digital media outlets to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about or to another person. Can you believe that 1 in 3 people say that have experienced cyberbullying or cyberthreats online? Most cyberbullying facts are pretty shocking, and this form of online harassment may be a lot more prevalent than you think. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about cyberbullying and how it can be prevented.
Types of Cyberbullying
Before we take a look into the facts, let’s go over the different forms that cyberbullying can take on.
- Gossip: People gossip all the time, but gossiping when applied to cyberbullying takes the form of posting or sending cruel gossip across media outlets in hopes to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with others.
- Exclusion: Feeling left out can happen online too. Exclusion online deals with deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
- Impersonation: This involves breaking in or hacking someone’s e-mail or other type of online account and sending messages impersonating as the person. The messages sent are with the aim to cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation in such that it will affect his or her relationship with others.
- Harassment: This requires repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages to someone online.
- Cyberstalking: Cyberstalking involves stalking online by posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, including threats, over the internet.
- Flaming: Have you ever seen a fight occur online? Flaming is a type of online fighting where mean and offensive messages are posted onto websites, forums, or blogs directed at another person.
- Outing and Trickery: Outing or tricking is the act of manipulating or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information about themselves, which is then shared online.
- Cyberthreats: Cyberthreats are remarks made over the Internet in which a person is threatening or implying violent behavior towards someone else. Often times this is a display of suicidal tendencies.
- 32% of teens online report they have been targets of annoying or menacing online activities.
- 15% of teens overall say that someone has forwarded or posted a private message that they have written in confidence.
- 13% of people say that someone has spread a rumor about them online.
- 13% of people say that someone has sent them a threatening or aggressive message online.
- 6% of people report to having someone post or distribute embarrassing pictures of them online.
- 38% of online girls and women report to being bullied online. This is compared to a lower 26% of boys or men online.
- The age group that is bullied the most online is that of older girls ages 15 to 17. 41% of this group report being bullied online, which is more than any other age or gender group.
- 39% of social network users say that they have been cyberbullied in some way. This is compared to 22% of online teens who do not use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace.
- 20% of teens ages 12 to 17 say that they feel “people are mostly unkind” when using online social networks. Younger teenage girls ages 12 to 13 are more likely to say this.
- 33% of younger teen girls who use social media say that their peers are “mostly unkind” to one another over social network sites.
- 15% of teens who use social network sites have experienced someone being mean or cruel to them on a social network site. These teens are not differentiated by any particular age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or other demographic characteristic.
- 13% of teens who use social media, ages 12 to 17, say they have had an experience on a social network that made them feel nervous and scared about going to school the next day. This feeling seems to be most common among younger teens (20%) than older teens (11%).
- 88% of teens who use social media report to have seen someone being mean or cruel to another person over a social network site.
- When teens witness cyber bullying, 55% say that they will simply ignore what is going on, and 27% report seeing others defending the victim. 20% of teens say that they will openly tell the offender to stop cyberbullying, and 19% say that they witness others join in on the online harassment.
- 36% of the teens who have witnessed others being cruel on social networks have said that they have asked or gone to someone for advice about what to do.
- Girls are more likely than boys to be victims or cyberbullies themselves.
- Teens who spend more than three hours each using online social networks are 110% more likely to be a victim of cyberbullying, compared to those who do not spend as much time online or on social networks.
- 1 in 6 parents are aware that their child has been bullied over social media. In over half of these cases, their child was a repeat victim, meaning that they were bullied multiple times.
- 52% of parents are worried that their child will be bullied over a social networking site or online.
- Over half of the parents who have chicken who use social media are concerned about cyberbullying, and more than 3/4ths of these of parents have gone on to discuss the issue of online bullying with their children.
- It is reported that one million children were harassed, threatened, or a subject of some type of cyberbullying over Facebook this past year.
- In addition to online bullying, bullying over text messaging or texting is becoming more and more common as people are using texting more often and frequently.
- 34% of individuals who have engaged in cyberbullying have also been cyberbullied themselves.
With these statistics, make sure you and your kids or loved ones know how to manage the stress caused by cyberbullying.
Why Do Teens Cyberbully?
Here are some seven reasons as to why teens say that they engage in cyberbullying online:
- They want to show off to friends (11%)
- They cyberbully to simply be mean (14%)
- Other factors (16%)
- To embarrass another person (21%)
- For fun or entertainment purposes (28%)
- They felt the other person deserved it (58%)
- They wanted to get back at someone (58%)
How to Prevent Cyberbullying
- With its prevalence, it can be extremely helpful to learn some techniques and tips as to how to stop or decrease cyberbullying whether or not you are a teen or an adult.
- Adults can explain to children or teens why cyberbullying is wrong and can that it can have serious consequences.
- If you are a parent, make a rule that you child may not send mean or damaging messages to anyone else online, even if someone else started it.
- Ensure that if any suggestive pictures or messages are passed via phone or online, that the child will lose their cell phone and/or computer privileges for a time.
- Encourage teens to communicate any occurrences of cyberbullying to an adult or parent. Make sure that the teen is aware that if they themselves are victims; they will not be punished.
- If possible, teens should keep cyber bullying messages as proof that the cyber bullying is occurring; especially if the messages are threatening or sexual in nature.
- If the harassment is frequent, consider blocking the person who is sending the messages.
- Children and teens should never give their email, social media, or any other passwords to anyone except a parent.
- Teens should not share anything via text or instant messaging on their cell phone or over the Internet that they would not want to be made public.
- Encourage children and teens to never to share any personal information online, and talk to them about the dangers of meeting someone online that they do not know.
- If you child or teen uses their computer frequently, keep the computer in a shared space, such as the family room, and do not allow your child to have Internet access in their own rooms.
- A good way to decrease cyberbullying from occurring is to encourage family meals and activities for the family. Have this be a time when your child or teen turns off their computer and unplugs from other forms of technology.
Take Action Immediately
Cyberbullying is so different than other forms of bullying because it can occur when a child, teen, or adult is alone in the comfort of their own homes or space. If you have experienced cyberbullying or have a child that is being cyberbullied, it is important to immediately report the bullying that has occurred and find the help that you need immediately. To help ensure that your child has the guidance and support they need, enroll in this course for positive and effective parenting skills.