Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place on electronic technologies and can range from mean texts, chat, messages and emails to embarrassing or mean words or pictures/videos of kids posted on social media. It includes a wide variety of techniques, including threatening, stalking, rumor spreading, heated exchanges, ostracizing, mocking, lying, defaming, belittling, sharing private information and impersonating.
Kids who are cyberbullied are usually bullied in person as well. What makes cyberbullying so difficult is:
- It doesn’t just happen when kids are together face-to-face, but can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Cyberbullying is frequently anonymous and is distributed widely and instantly. It can be hard to find the source of each incident.
- It can be very difficult to remove the negative or embarrassing post, message or image, which can lead to a longer period of pain.
Unfortunately, the statistics on cyberbullying are increasing dramatically and girls are twice as likely to be cyberbullied as boys. Whether done in person or online, the effects of bullying are the same.
Here are some additional resources to help you understand and deal with cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Online Social Aggression, Threats and Distress. 2nd Edition. Nancy E. Willard.