Bullying in the Cyber-world.

By Jalynne and Jessica

What is Cyber-bullying?

Written by Jessica

Cyber-bullying is when a child, preteen, or teen is threatened, humiliated, embarrassed, teased, or in any way targeted. It is only cyber-bullying if it is a young person targeting another young person. If an adult is targeting a child, it is called cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. Never mistake these for cyber-bullying, as they are much more severe.

Cyber-bullying is extremely common. Places like kids helpline get multiple emails a day with reports of cyber-bullying. Did you know that over half (52%) of young kids over the world have reported cyber-bullying? The most commonly reported type of cyber-bullying is mean/hurtful comments and spreading of rumors. Girls are more likely to be cyber-bullied than boys are. Childline, which is a free counseling service that is based in the United Kingdom, reported in their most recent annual report that cyber-bullying concerns rose by 87% in 2013 over the previous year.

One sad part about cyber-bullying is that the people who want to help, often don’t know how. Obviously, comforting and encouraging them is always appropriate. Some easy ways to provide support are to make them report the incident to a parent or another adult they trust. Remember to make sure that they know they won't get in trouble. Tell them that is is not their fault and that they are not to blame for the attacks towards them. Make sure that they somehow save the messages as proof of cyber-bullying. Encourage the victim to change their phone number/email address. They can also report the bully to their cellphone provider. Also, look deeper into the situation. Some recent cyber-bullying statistics show that most bullies impersonate someone, meaning that they pretend to be someone they're not.

Most types of cyber-bullying fall into one or more of the following categories:

Flaming- Online fights using electronic messages and using angry or vulgar language

Harassment or stalking- repeatedly sending cruel, vicious, and/or threatening messages

Denigration- sending or posting gossip or rumors to damage his/her reputation/friendships.

Impersonation- breaking into someones email account and using it to send vicious, rude, or embarrassing material to others.

Outing and trickery- engaging someone into instant messaging, tricking them into revealing sensitive information, and forwarding it to others.

Exclusion- Intentionally excluding someone from an online group.

What are some ways to prevent/minimize Cyber-bullying?

Written by Jessica

Don't let people you don't know, or look creepy follow/friend you on social media. Make your accounts private and report all rude/suspicious behavior. If someone says or does something inappropriate or is cyber bullying you, block and report them immediately. If you are being cyber-bullied over texting, call your cell phone provider and block the number. If it is over email, you can report them as a spam/scam, or click go automatically to junk. Be very conscious of what you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc... because creepy people can easily get a hold of it. Don't post your address, phone number, or even your email address on social media. Don't get pressured into sending sensitive info or pictures of yourself. If you get a message, save it for evidence but don't respond. If you ignore it the bully may get bored and go away. If you respond, you could get pressured and stressed into doing things you shouldn't, or don't want to do. One thing that can help is to gather more information. It may be a case of impersonation cyber-bullying. You really don't want someone to get blamed when it in fact wasn't their fault. If you feel like someone is cyber-stalking you and you feel like they know too much about you, call a hotline. A good one is boystown hotline. Never harm yourself in any way. It just makes everything worse. If you are being cyber-bullied, the most important thing to do is to tell a trusted adult, like your parents. If you don't feel like you can trust your parents, tell a teacher, grandparent or even your neighbor. Calling a hotline like boystown or kids help phone often relieves a lot of stress and makes you feel a lot more safe and secure.

What support networking are available if you’re a victim of cyber-bullying?- Kids Helpline

Written by Jalynne

If you are a cyber-bullying victim, there are a lot of helpful support networks that you can join. Kids Helpline offers different ways that you can get help from a counselor. If you have contacted a Kids Helpline counselor before, you can ask to speak with them again if you would like to. If you have not visited for a while, you can ask if your counselor is still available. Kids Helpline is a 24 hour, free, and confidential counselling service for people aged 5-25 years old . One of the fastest ways to contact a counselor at Kids Helpline is to call them at 1-800-668-6868. Another way to get help is by talking one-on-one contact with a Kids Helpline counselor. It is open 7 days a week. A lot of young children contact a counsellor by the web, so there may be a wait time to talk to someone. If you need help straight away, call them. The final way that you can contact Kids Helpline is by email if you can’t get to a phone. You can email them anytime you need help. It may take them a while to respond, as they have a lot of kids that need help, but if it is an urgent situation, call 1800-55-1800.

What support networking are available if you’re a victim of cyber-bullying?- Boys Town National Hotline

Written by Jalynne

Another helpful support network is Boys Town National Hotline. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it has specially trained staff to assist the kids in need for help. Thousands of children are living in fear and Boys Town is there anytime that they seek guidance. Boys Town has a national hotline for teens who can call and talk to counselors about the issues they are going through. They also have a youth website. It provides useful tips of how to handle different events that children may be going through. The website is www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/ In the website there is a part where youth can chat or text with counselors if they are too uncomfortable to talk over a phone call. Counselors also answer emails from the Boys Town and Your Life Your Voice websites. Most kids who reach out to a counselor don’t tell where they are being bullied online. They will usually say online, school, or at home. For Boys Town counselors, it doesn't matter as much for where they are being bullied online, as how they are going to help them keep themselves safe. If you are in a crisis and you would feel more comfortable talking to a counselor over the phone, you can call Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000.

Tips that Councelors have on bullying.

  • “The hardest part is realizing that you cannot change or control someone else. You can’t change the way they treat other people, but you can change the way you react to them.”

  • “If you are bullied, it doesn't mean you are less of a person, so don’t let a bully make you feel that way. You deserve respect just like anyone else.”

  • “ The best thing you can do to combat a bully is to reach down deep inside yourself and find all the courage and self-confidence you can.

  • “ If you are being bullied via texting, or internet such as such as Facebook, or MySpace, you can restrict certain people from getting on your profiles, and you can restrict certain incoming phone numbers on your cell phone. If they do find a way to send you a message, simply ignore it. The more you fight back, the more fuel you’re adding to the fire. The bottom line is….ignore what they are saying or doing and remember that they are not better than you.”