This week I learned a great deal about cyberbullying and the role it plays in our digital society. Cyberbullying has become a real problem which effects children, adolescents, and teenagers. But it doesn’t stop there. In some cases, it effects college students, young adults, adults and even faculty on college campuses and in the workplace (Washington, 2015). Cyberbullying doesn’t discriminate; anyone can be a perpetrator or victim. However, we can do something about it and help prevent cyberbullying.
Hinduja and Patchin’s book, Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, is a great read that is packed full of valuable information for those wanting to learn all there is to know about cyberbullying and prevention. As a bonus, it includes several helpful resources at the end including technology use contracts, sample surveys, and staff development materials. Hinduja and Patchin (2015) define cyberbullyling is a pattern of behavior that is deliberate and harmful which is done through use of electronic devices. Cyberbullies use electronic devices like smartphones along with apps and social media such as Facebook, personal websites, instant messaging, and other forms of electronic communication. The fact that the attacks are shared over the Internet amplifies the abuse, increases the audience and allows the act to spread faster and further. Cyberbullying is complex and comes in many forms and can be used in any combination to hurt the victim.
Do you recognize these forms of cyberbullying?
posting media (pictures, videos)
captions, commenting, and messaging
Knowing how to recognize cyberbullying is only the first step. As educational leaders, teachers, and parents we need to educate ourselves and our children about cyberbullying and its effects on one another. It’s important to teach proper use of digital technology and the Internet. Teachers, leaders and parents should set out guidelines and expectations with regards to technology use. In addition, we should define the consequences of irresponsible technology and Internet use as well as consequences for cyberbullying. Most importantly, teachers and parents should maintain a connection with students in hopes of gaining their trust so that they feel comfortable reporting instances of cyberbullying.
Furthermore, promoting kindness, empathy, and respect towards others can help make a difference and curb instances of cyberbullying. We need to encourage students to stand up for each other and not just be a bystander in the face of cyberbullies.
The GREAT news is that we all can do our part to stop the abuse; let’s put an end to cyberbullying!
Over the last few days I’ve curated some spectacular resources I’d like to share about cyberbullying listed below. I’ve included websites, a few videos, and pins that I have found helpful in learning about cyberbullying, prevention, and awareness.
Cyberbullying Research Center – The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.
NoBullying – Bullying & Cyberbullying Resources – Nobullying.com is an online forum aimed at educating, advising, counseling and all importantly, helping to stop bullying, in particular, cyber bullying.
A THIN LINE, MTV’s sexting, cyberbullying, digital dating abuse campaign – MTV’s A Thin Line campaign was developed to empower you to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in your life and among your peers.
Ryan Halligan’s Story – A site dedicated to Ryan and others suffering from the pain of being bullied or suicidal.
Words Wound – The Words Wound vision is simple: for schools and communities across America to be places in which teens don’t have to deal with harassment, humiliation, and hate.
Upworthy: Things that matter. Pass’em on. – We believe that stories about important issues can and should be great stories — stories for everyone, stories that connect us and sometimes even change the world. Stories that are worth your time – and that make the world a better place.
New Cyberbullying pins: My Digital Citizenship Board on Pinterest
New Cyberbullying videos: My Digital Citizenship Playlist on YouTube
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2014). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
Washington, E.T. (2015) An overview of cyberbullying in higher education. Adult Learning, 26, 21-27. doi:10.1177/1045159514558412