Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queenbees and Wannabees, referred to the Internet as a weapon of mass social destruction. She may be right. According to the CDC nearly 35% of youth report being bullied online.
What is Cyber-bullying?
- Harassing through hurtful, rude, or mean text messages, email, or postings on social media sites.
- Spreading rumors or lies about others through e-mail or social networks.
- Creating websites, videos or social media profiles that embarrass, humiliate, or make fun of others.
Common Forms of Cyber-bullying
- Flaming and Trolling – sending or posting hostile messages intended to “inflame” the emotions of others
- Happy-Slapping – recording someone being harassed or bullied in a way that usually involves physical abuse, then posting the video online for public viewing
- Identity Theft/Impersonation – stealing someone’s password and/or hijacking their online accounts to send or post incriminating or humiliating pictures, videos, or information
- Photoshopping – doctoring digital images so that the main subject is placed in a compromising or embarrassing situation
- Physical Threats – sending messages that involve threats to a person’s physical safety
- Rumor Spreading – spreading gossip through e-mail, text messaging, or social networking sites.
Children who are cyberbullied are most likely to:
- Have lower self-esteem
- Have more health problems
- Be unwilling to attend school
- Receive poor grades
- Experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Check our our page Your Child In Cyber-Space for information and tips.
The State of Virginia has developed a comprehensive report on Internet Safety.
It can be found here.