More than 1/3 of teens have experienced cyberbullying.
When a child, preteen, or teen is cyberbullied they are embarrassed, harassed, humiliated, tormented, threatened, and/or targeted by another child, preteen, or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones. Cyberbullies can be classmates, online acquaintances, and even anonymous users, but most often they do know their victims.
Cyberbullying can lead to negative emotional responses and low self-esteem. Victims may feel angry, depressed, frustrated, and even humiliated. As a result, they may become isolated, jumpy, nervous, or withdrawn, and in some cases, victims may stop going to school, or worse, commit suicide.
Just like face-to-face bullying, both boys and girls participate in online bullying. Boys tend to bully by texting sexually natured messages or by threatening others with fighting or hurting someone. However, girls more often, spread rumors, tell secrets, making fun of others, or exclude them altogether through texting or on social media.
Examples of Cyber Bullying (non exhaustive)
- Sending someone mean or threatening emails, instant messages, or text messages consistently with the intent to harm
- Excluding someone from an instant messenger buddy list or blocking their email for with the intention to hurt them
- Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others
- Breaking into someone's email or instant message account to send cruel or untrue messages while posing as that person
- Creating websites to make fun of another person such as a classmate or teacher
- Using websites to rate peers as prettiest, ugliest, etc.