Stop Cyber Bullying Now
It is difficult to find a kid these days who does not use an electronic device. It's been estimated that 75 percent of American kids under the age of 8 and under have access to an electronic device be it a cell phone, a smartphone, or a tablet. Even my 5 year-old grandson is adept at trolling through the internet to find the perfect game on his dad's smart phone. So when I say that cyberbullying is on the rise, it shouldn't be a surprise.
Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that takes place on an electronic device. It's not much different from the traditional playground bullying that still occurs in schools. You know, the kid with an ego problem who finds someone who can't or won''t fight back and singles him/her out for daily abuse--verbal and/or physical. The difference is that cyberbullying can be anonymous, reach a wider audience, and attack at any time of day or night.
This type of bullying comes in many forms. Pictures, email, and instant messaging are just a few of the options for an angry, frustrated, vengeful, bored, or just plain mean kid to use to attack another kid. Sometimes, it is even carried out as a form of entertainment. Even adults have been known to get involved by sending derogatory messages to their child's classmates. All forms of bullying have a devastating affect on kids. A recent study found that more than 160,000 kids stay home from school each day to avoid being bullied. And, the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey found 15% of highschool students were cyberbullied.
Stopbullying.gov states that "Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to:
- Use alcohol and drugs
- Skip school
- Experience in-person bullying
- Be unwilling to attend school
- Receive poor grades
- Have lower self-esteem
- Have more health problems
What can a kid do who discovers he/she is a victim of cyberbullying?
- Do not retaliate
- Do not take it personally--this is hard, but it is not your fault
- Save the evidence
- Share what is going on with your parents, a school counselor, or a teacher
- Tell the person to stop
- If through email, change your email address
- If threats are involved, call the police
For additional information check out these websites: