Everyone has been a victim of cyber bullying whether you believe it or not. Cyber bullying takes place everywhere. On social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Even over texting or instant messaging. Many think it's okay and not harmful towards other people. But in reality, it's very harmful and can even lead to cutting, overdosing or suicide. Schools don't usually get involved even though they claim they do.
I know of people who have caused cyber bullying and people who have been a victim of it. It's not a good feeling. When someone bullies someone else it's probably because they're jealous of that person, or has a hard life and wants to take it out on someone else. Sometimes they do it for attention or entertainment. The victim rarely defends him/herself because he/she feels so defenseless. In many cases, there are lots of people who gang up on one person on a social networking site and make them feel defenseless and useless.
Schools don't get involved in many cyber bullying because they can't take control if it happens out of school. I think schools should start taking action. But many teachers and/or school administrators don't realize that it's going on. They are completely oblivious. Cyber bullying can threaten students' physical and emotional safety and can decrease their learning ability.
According to research, boys initiate mean online activity earlier than girls do. I've been a victim of boys cyber bullying me over social networking many times and that's when I take the action of blocking them... but sometimes blocking someone isn't enough for them to stop.
Many bullies take the initiative to spread a nasty rumor about someone they dislike and make everyone believe it.
When a person gets cyber bullied they don't tell an adult about it because they feel trapped or they were threatened by that person to not tell anyone about it.
Signs that a child is being cyber bullied:
Signs of emotional distress during or after use of the Internet
Being protective or secretive about their digital life
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Avoidance of school or group gatherings
Slipping grades and anger at home
Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
How Parents Can Help:
*If you discover that your child is being cyber bullied, talk to him/her
*Let your child know that it's not his/her fault
*Talk to teachers or school administration
*Let your child know that you're there for them
*Know your kids' online world. Check their postings and the sites your children visit. Talk to them about the importance of privacy and why it's a bad idea to share personal information
Other measures to take:
*If you know who the bully is then block him/her. You are able to do this on social networking, e-mailing, instant messaging, and texting.
*Many kids who are bullied can't resist the temptation to check websites or phones to see if there is any recent activity about them.
*Limit the use of cell phones and Internet usage
Cyber Bullying Facts for 2012:
*32% of online teens say they have been targets of a range of menacing online activities
*13% say someone has spread a rumor
*38% of online girls report being bullied and only 26% boys
*88% of social media using teens say they have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social networking site
*55% see other people ignoring what is going on
*41% of youth that are bullied don't tell anyone that it happened
*In a 2011 survey about social networking knowledge, 100% of parents reported not knowing their child needed to be at least 13 to have a Facebook account.
Young men and women who are victim to cyber bullying have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal thoughts and a variety of emotional responses. According to Cyberbullying Research Center, there have been several high-profile cases involving teenagers taking their own lives in part because of being harassed and mistreated over the Internet. At least three children between the ages of 12 and 13 have committed suicide due to depression brought on by cyber bullying.
There was a recent movie that came out on DVD and was premiered on ABC Family called Cyberbully. Emily Osment starred in it. Many know her from Hannah Montana. She played Miley Cyrus' best friend named Lily. The movie showed Emily's character Taylor Hillridge being a victim of cyber bullying. Taylor is a teenage girl and is raised by her single mother along with her younger brother. She got a new laptop for her birthday and is excited about her independence of going online without her mom watching her. Later, Taylor discovers that she is a victim of cyber bullying. Things go awry when Taylor's brother hacks into her account and posts a derogatory message about her. Word spreads at her school and they start saying mean things on her profile. The abuse pushes her to a breaking point. Taylor almost commits suicide by overdosing with pills but cannot get the cap off. Taylor's mom learns from the incident and takes on the school system and state legislation to prevent others from going through the same problem as her daughter.
If a friend of yours told you about them being cyber bullied but told you not to tell anyone, go to a trusted adult or a parent immediately before it gets worse. If you aren't comfortable telling a grown up, then look up a cyber bullying hot line and talk to a professional about your situation.