Teenage cyberbullying is a major problem. Social networking and cell phones allow teens to be bullied 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And the hurt and humiliation it can cause is often widespread and long-lasting. Teens can’t get away from it. It can be hard to spot. And it’s a growing problem.
Forms of Teenage Cyberbullying:
- Sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone
- Sharing personal or private information or pictures of someone
- Impersonating someone
- Signing someone up for harmful or embarrassing sites
- “Outing” someone
- Cyberstalking, threatening, etc.
- Obvious exclusion
- Overwhelming text attacks
Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved. Not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it as well.
Four Particular Problems with Teenage Cyberbullying
Social bullying is social terror by technology. Teenage cyberbullying is different than traditional bullying in four troublesome ways:
- It’s 24/7. Digital devises and social media offer an opportunity to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day – every day. That means that it can be impossible for teens being bullied to cope and find relief. They can’t get away from the bully(s).
- The communication is permanent. Most information that is digitally communicated is both public and permanent if not reported and removed (if that’s even possible). A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, entry into the military, and other areas of life.
- The bullying is often hidden. Because teachers, parents, and others may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is often not noticed. In most cases it requires the target of the bullying to report it to someone.
- Cyberbullying is often anonymous. Those involved in bullying that is not cyberbullying are usually pretty obvious and they are identifiable. Those who are cyberbullying can be anonymous. Cyberbullying is even more cowardly than other forms of bullying.