Bullying has been a part of life since people first started living in sedentary communities.
For some reason, people have always found it comforting to put other people down, even if the comments they make are mean and hurtful.
This can help explain why 73 percent of students feel they have been bullied in their lifetime, and why 44 percent say it's happened in the last 30 days.
However, the emergence of and universal adoption to social media has opened the door for a new type of bullying: cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is defined as:
Bullying that takes place over digital devices such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, which includes, but is not limited to, SMS and text message, social media, forum, online gaming, any other app that allows people to view, participate and share content. [StopBullying.gov and the National Crime Prevention Center]
It's considered to be a bigger threat than in-person bullying because:
To understand just how much cyberbullying affects kids and adults in both the U.S. and the world, consider the following statistics:
Cyberbullying is a real problem in today's society. Consider that:
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In some respects, this is good. It means more and more kids are gaining access to the knowledge and information available on the internet.
However, it also increases their exposure to potentially harmful interactions, specifically, cyberbullying.
In school, bullying has traditionally been seen as an adolescent rite of passage. For years adults wrote off bullying as nothing more than "kids being kids."
However, this is quite simply not the truth. Instead, it's an excuse to ignore a real problem, and to avoid trying to solve it.
Not convinced? Ask the kids.
In a survey conducted by Ditch the Label, over three quarters of kids - 77 percent to be exact - said that bullying, and more specifically, cyberbullying, is not a part of growing up.
What's interesting is that this problem is not exclusive to children and teenagers. There is some evidence to suggest that cyberbullying also goes on amongst adults.
However, cyberbullying is often called something else, such as harassment, or sometimes even stalking. To give you an idea as to how prevalent these problems are, know that one in six women and one in 19 men have been stalked at some point in their lifetime. Four in ten Americans have experienced some form of online harassment.
Also consider that:
These numbers are troubling. They show that cyberbullying is not only pervasive, but that it doesn't go away as we get older.
At this point, it should be clear that cyberbullying is a large problem in today's society. But where does cyberbullying occur?
To get a little bit deeper into the problems cyberbullying causes, take a look at the following data provided by Ditch the Label, one of the world's leading anti-bullying organizations.
They asked students to indicate on which social media platforms they had experienced cyberbullying, and here are the results:
The study also revealed some surprising statistics about the amount of people that are perpetrators of cyberbullying. For example, they found that:
These statistics are troubling because it suggests a general misunderstanding of exactly what cyberbullying is.
More specifically, it's likely these people who have admitted to doing something abusive towards others online actually engaged in cyberbullying, but because of a lack of awareness as to what this is, they do not admit it.
Here are some more cyberbullying statistics to consider:
Even if you've never been a victim of any type of bullying, it doesn't take much to know that it does not produce good results.
However, the effects of bullying, and more specifically cyberbullying, are much more powerful than just "feeling bad."
This type of abuse can have serious short-term as well as long-term impacts on a person's physical and mental well-being.
Here is a rundown of some of the more troubling statistics about the impact of cyberbullying:
What's perhaps more concerning, though, is the impact cyberbullying has on the one doing the actual bullying.
According to a study published in The Journal of Early Adolescence, cyberbullying can actually help improve a student's perceived popularity.
This suggests that we as a society encourage this type of behavior by rewarding those who engage in it with higher social standing.
To help you get a better idea about some of the impacts cyberbullying can have on mental health, consider the following findings from the Ditch the Label study.
In this survey, students who had been cyberbullied were asked to identify what issues they felt arose because of their experience with cyberbullying. The results were:
Seeing how prevalent cyberbullying is in our society, it's important to learn the signs that someone is under attack. This will help you know when to intervene.
According to the National Crime Prevention Center (NCPC), there a several behavioral changes that someone being cyberbullied may undergo. For example, they may:
**This is considered to be one of the biggest red flags, largely because kids are so connected to their devices. If you notice a major change, then it's important to speak to them to find out what they are experiencing.**
On the other side of things, it's important to look out for some of the signs that someone is engaging in cyberbullying.
As shown by the statistics, more people engage in cyberbullying than you might think, and these numbers are based on those who admit it. It's quite possible there are more people than the research suggests.
It's tricky to determine when someone is engaging in cyberbullying, but it's not impossible. Typically, children, or adults, who are engaging in cyberbullying will:
If you see anyone exhibiting these types of behaviors, then consider investigating more and intervening where possible.
Around 81 percent of kids think that bullying is easier to get away with online. Part of the reason for this could be that 90 percent of kids who see cyberbullying ignore it.
However, 84 percent of students report having seen someone stand up to a cyberbully to tell them to stop what they are doing.
This suggests that a small group of people are speaking up about cyberbullying, something that needs to change.
As an adult, if you see a kid being cyberbullied, consider doing one of the following:
As you can see, cyberbullying is a real issue that is prevalent all around the world, amongst both children and adults.
However, we are not helpless in trying to prevent this from happening.
There are things you can do to help stop harassment and abuse online, and to help contribute to a society based on respect and compassion for all.
Content retrieved from: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/cyber-bullying-statistics.