I watched a rerun of CSI: Cyber, the episode on cyber bullying and it was fascinating. When I was young, the bullying consisted of one person who threatened people while surrounded by his gang. If you got mad enough and hit him, he'd leave you alone but this cyber bullying i way more insidious.
The episode I mentioned involved a teenage girl who was being set up to be bullied by her classmates to the point someone set up a "Kill Yourself..... " website where her classmates were encouraged to post nasty messages. In fact the person who started this all was doing it all for revenge. The girl's father dumped her a couple months prior.
A grown woman's revenge hurt this girl and her friends turned on her. When interviewed, they basically said that it wasn't anything big when they spread these rumors or posted to the site. One of the FBI people stated these kids could be anyone they wanted to be online and because they sat behind a computer or phone, it didn't seem like any big deal.
Cyber bullying is defined as using technology to threaten, harass, embarrass or target another person. Due to the fact it involves technology, cyber bullying is restricted to teenagers. If adults are involved it is referred to as cyber stalking or cyber harassing.
The thing about cyber bullying is that it is not always easy to spot. If your child shows you a text that is mean or nasty, its easy to see it as cyber bullying but if one child impersonates another, that is not as obvious, nor is posting personal information, photos or videos designed to hurt another.
1. According to one website over 43% of teenagers experience cyber bullying in their lifetime. That is almost half of all teenagers.
2. Teenage girls are more likely to experience cyber bullying (40% compared to 30% for boys).
3. Cyber bullying can lower self worth, increase depression, and make a person feel worthless.
4. Around 60% of overweight students have received mean texts, embarrassing online comments, or nasty e-mails.
5. About 88% of teenagers on line have witnessed others being mean or cruel online.
These are just a few statistics associated with cyber bullying. If you have teenagers, you might want to visit sites such as this one so you are better equipped to discuss it or to look for signs so you know if your child is being cyber bullied.
Remember, this new generation sees their texts and written material as nothing serious and may see hurting others as something common that others are doing. It might be worth a talk on how serious it can be because it can cause teenagers to take their lives.