Text Messaging Harassment and other Cyberbullying Resources

Cyberbullying is when one person is bothered or harassed by another person through a form of technology. It can be through a phone, text message, or the Internet. Cyberbullying has been on the rise in the recent years as technology has advanced. Finding out what cyberbullying is, how to prevent it, how to teach your children right and wrong technology use, and how to deal with the effects of cyberbullying, can help educate everyone on the fight against it. Cyberbullying is real, and it happens each and every day. People must stand up and fight against it.

Research on Cyberbullying

Research suggests that cyberbullying is on the rise and has increased tremendously over the last few years. The studies have included middle and high school students. In one study, 10 percent of 2000 middle school students were cyberbullied within the previous 30 days, over 17 percent of these students reported being cyberbullied at least once in their lifetime. These are lower than some of the previous findings from other research, but it is still becoming a growing problem for the US. Older youth tend to use the Internet more than younger youth and therefore they have a greater chance of being cyberbullied. The National Crime Prevention Council has put in a report stating that cyberbullying has become a problem that affects around half of all teens in the US. One research report found that over 60 percent of students in California have been cyberbullied.

A national survey conducted in 2004 reported these findings for students between grades 4 to 8:

42 percent of kids were bullied online.
35 percent of kids were threatened online.
21 percent of kids received threatening or mean emails or other forms of cyber messages.
58 percent of kids say that kids have said hurtful or mean things to them while online.
58 percent of kids have not told an adult or their parents about the acts.

Another survey conducted in 2006 reported:

43 percent of teens in the US experienced cyberbullying in the past year.

Comparison to Traditional Bullying

One of the biggest contributing factors of the rise in cyberbullying is that the perpetrator can remain anonymous while online. This lessens their concern that they will have to pay for their comments while online. Furthermore, many parents do not supervise their child’s online activity, due in part to the fact that many young people know more about the Internet than their parents. This allows the bullies to say whatever they want without fear of someone supervising their words or actions.

Legislation Against Cyberbullying

Several states have already passed laws against cyberbullying, but other states are still waiting to pass these types of laws. Some of the states, such as Missouri, made cyberbullying a misdemeanor. The belief is that criminalizing cyberbullying will put an end to it, or at the very least raise awareness, and that this awareness would at least greatly reduce cyberbullying. Making the act illegal might help save lives, as cyberbullying has led to suicide on numerous occasions. In 2007, the first addressing cyberbullying were passed in seven states.

Harmful Effects

There are many harmful effects that come with cyberbullying. The victims of cyberbullying can be led to lower self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, and many different negative emotional responses. The victims will start avoiding people at all costs including friends and even family. Sometimes cyberbullying can be so damaging to a person to where they commit suicide because of it.

Additional Resources

O2: An O2 guide to keeping children safe. Helping adults to protect children using mobiles and the internet.

DigiZen: Website designed for kids to get safe digital technology tips and hints.

Family Lives: Great place for parents to find out more information about cyberbullying and how to get help.

Just Smile: Find out great tips and advice on cyberbullying, and when and where to seek help.

NetSmart: Activities and workshops for kids and parents to practice safe technology use.

Make a Difference for Kids: A website dedicated to helping kids get away from cyberbullying, and other forms of harassment.

Cyber Mentors: Meet new friends and get help and advice if you’re a kid that is struggling with cyberbullies.

Kids Help: A whole website dedicated to kids getting the information they need about cyber problems.

Criminal Justice Services: Overview and explanation of what cyberbullying is, when and where to get help, and the fight against it.

Internet Safety: Learn safety for the internet if you’re a kid on this cool website.

Cyberbullying Research Center: Learn research and the trends in cyberbullying throughout the years. A lot of statistics.

Cyberbullying Tips: Statistics and tips on cyberbullying and how to prevent it.

Cyber safety guide: Everyone should know how to be safe when surfing the web.

National Crime Prevention Council: Find out more information and where to go for help when you’re being cyberbullied.

Stop Cyberbullying: The fight against cyber bullying starts here and you can now get all the information you need to prevent it.

Net Smartz: Different tabs for the different types of good and bad behavior on the internet.

Cyberbullying Movie: Find out what it is, how to walk away, when to get help, and much more.

Stop Cyberbullying: Learn what effects cyberbullying can have on people, and how to prevent or handle it.

Stand up to Cyberbullying: Find out how you can make a difference when it comes to cyberbullying.

Beware of the Cyber Bully: An article from i-SAFE about how to deal with and avoid cyber bullys.

Cyberbullying Facts and Info: An overview of cyberbullying and what is being done to stop it.

Content Created and Provided By Charlotte Gray


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