Articles

Articles

Cyber Bullying

Posted by Jonny Shannon on Sep 13, 2018 1:37:10 PM

 

Jonny Shannon is a Cyber Safety and Anti Bullying Speaker Based out of Sydney, Australia and has been signed off the the ESafety Commissioner. For more information about Esafety and the work they do please visit;  Esafety 

How to Stop Cyber Bullying 

Being a parent is hard enough, but when fast spreading digital world interferes in your everyday struggles  – that’s when it gets really messy. Below is a Free PDF to walk you through how I have taught students how to handle being bullied. 

6BullyingSteps


The main problem with the digital era is that it’s hard to keep up with the constant improvements of media and its emergence into our lives. Growing up within virtual society in which social norms are yet to be agreed upon, definitely hinders attempts to provide a safe space and necessary prevention for our youngsters. This is why cyberbullying is a hot topic among many experts.

Cyberbullying is performed by using digital communications in order to harm another person. There’s a whole array of emotions that are targeted with such behavior – anger, sadness, self-image, fear, insecurity, etc. It is a significant and growing problem, with reports indicating that up to 50 percent of school-aged children experience bullying via technology (Mishna, Cook, Gadall, Daciuk, & Solomon, 2010).

What are the different types of bullying?

It’s important to understand that cyberbullying often stays off the radar – our easy access to this media of communication that makes us available 24/7 and the fast exchange of information leaves a lot of space for forgetting and ‘’letting go’’ of what happened. Also, due to overall changes in understanding of privacy and socially acceptable manners of interaction, it’s extremely hard to tell ‘’right’’ from ‘’wrong’’. Believing that this sort of undesirable behavior is a normal way of communication, children and adolescences tend to ignore or minimize these problems.

According to (Kowalski et al, 2008; Willard, 2006), we can identify: 

Avenue

Definition of Avenue

Explanation of Avenue

Flaming

Sending angry, rude or vulgar messages directed at a person or persons privately to an online group

Language that moves dialogue to a new level

Harassment

Repeatedly sending a person an offensive message

Consistent messaging and repeating the action – harassment

Cyberstalking

Harassment that is highly intimidating or includes threats of harm. See more about Cyber Safety here 

Harassment that is more serious in nature; this is a threat of impending harm

Denigration

Sending or posting harmful, untrue or cruel statements about a person to others

This is the art of putting someone down - slander

Masquerading

Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material that makes that person look bad or places that person in personal danger. Also known as "CatFishing". 

This is a person who poses as someone else to retrieve sensitive or private information - fraud

Outing & Trickery

Sending or posting material about a person that contains sensitive, private or embarrassing information, including forwarding private messages or images; engaging in tricks to solicit embarrassing information that is then made public

This person is pretending to be a friend. It includes collecting private information and them sharing and mocking the individual

Exclusion

Actions that specifically and intentionally exclude a person from an online group, such as exclusion from an instant messaging “buddies” list

Not allowing someone to be part of a group; intentionally leaving them or and not allow them to participate in electronic communication - exclusion

 
How to Stop Cyber Bullying; Free Step By Step Guide 

Okay, but is cyberbullying real?

Unfortunately, many people share the opinion this aggravating behavior is just part of growing up and another way of teasing among children. The truth is that by accepting this attitude, we discount the seriousness of the possible outcomes of this problem.

Bearing in mind that this type of harassment has the same consequences (insomnia, depression, anxiety, poor school performance and mental health, isolation etc.), as other forms of bullying, parents and schools are strongly advised to raise awareness among their children and students about this harmful phenomena. The other important reason for taking this into serious account is that whatever happens online, stays online. This means that in cyber reality, which doesn’t have space boundaries – our children can be constantly exposed to these pressures without us knowing. This can lead to the instant manner of interacting that can insidiously and slowly affect a person’s self-image and complicate forming bonds with peers and friends. Cyberbullies don’t have to look their victims into the eyes or to articulate offends and comments, which allows them to be creative, omnipresent and with no insight of how their behavior affects the person on the other side of the screen. 

Due to above-mentioned obstacles in following of the vast spreading of this new age phenomena, parents and teacher should encourage their kids to share their experiences, recognize the problem, and understand when to draw a line and say that’s enough. Bearing in mind that this form of bullying is nowadays considered to be socially accepted, providing a secure base and understanding your kid's feelings that are usually be mocked or ridiculed, is the first step to prevention of digital violence.

Schools are advised to raise awareness of these problems, boost empathy among their students and educate them about online safety. Also, there are many websites and organizations offering programs that could be implemented in the classroom, feel free to check them out in the links below.

Bullying can be really hard. Something that helped me while in High School was focusing on making friends; this has proven to help resilience and cut down on bullying in general. Click here for some simple steps on how to make friends. 

More links on bullying which can be helpful; 

Stop Bullying
ConnectSafety
safeteens.com

Here’s an example of how Finland approached bullying:
upworthy.com/finlandwhat is Cyber Bullying Youtube

Topics: calm, anger, cyberbullying, bullying