What Is Cyberbullying?

For most young people, the focus of the Internet is socializing. Most of these interactions online are positive, but more children and teenagers use technology to intimidate, harass and demean others. This is known as cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a special type of bullying that occurs over digital devices and online with cell phones, computers and tablets, in particular. Cyberbullying may happen via text messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), apps, online in social media, Internet forums, and in online gaming (Rouse).

Cyberbullying includes sending, sharing or posting content that is negative, derogatory, false or mean about another person, and may involve photographs and/or videos. It may involve the sharing of personal and/or private information about the other person that causes humiliation or embarrassment. Cyberbullying sometimes can be criminal, illegal behavior (StopBullyingcom). In the worst cases, cyberbullyiing can result in young people engaging in self-harm and even suicide.

Cyberbullying occurs most often via these electronic means:

  • Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
  • SMS and text messaging, and sometimes through messaging in large groups
  • Instant messaging on smartphones, tablets and computers
  • Email

What Is a Cyberbully?

A cyberbully is someone who uses a cell phone, instant messaging, email or social networking sites to harass, threaten or intimidate another person (Rouse). Cyberbullies frequently are children and teenagers who have largely unsupervised access to the aforementioned electronic devices.

A cyberbully can frequently hide behind an anonymous user name so that his or her true identity is hard to determine. Anonymity encourages cyber bullies to behave in a more aggressive fashion.

Researchers have conducted studies to determine some of the common characteristics of cyberbullies (Heaton):

  • Tend to be introverts, underachievers and underdogs
  • May suffer from low self esteem
  • May feel like they are victims themselves
  • Can have difficulty expressing anger appropriately
  • Would tend to not say to a person’s face what they can say anonymously online
  • Uses the Internet as a means to get even with others
  • Doesn’t tend to take responsibility for his actions

Of course, children with some of these traits are not necessarily cyberbullies. But they may be warning signs. These same characteristics also can be signs of depression and anxiety.

Children and teens who cyberbully also tend to have parents who are less involved in their lives, are less interested in school, and may find it difficult to manage their emotions and follow rules (EndCyberBullying). Some bullies may think that abusing others will help them to fit in with their friend. They also have difficulty empathizing with people they hurt.

Types of Cyberbullying

There are many types of bullying, and the same is the case with cyberbullying, according to EndCyberBullying.org:

  • Harassment: This involves the person sending malicious and offensive content to a person that is usually repeated many times. This also can be called cyberstalking, and involves routine threatening and rude messages that can eventually lead to physical harassment.
  • Flaming: This is related to harassment, but it refers more to online fighting and arguing that occurs on messaging, email and chat. It is public bullying online that often involves harsh language and images.
  • Exclusion: This is the act of singling out a person and leaving that person out of online sites and chats. The group then makes rude or mean comments about the person that has been excluded.
  • Outing: This is when the cyberbully shares very personal and private information about a person. It also can include images and videos. An example is when an ex-boyfriend sends a naked picture of his ex to hundreds of people. Or, the bully tells a large group that the victim is gay.
  • Masquerading: This is where the cyberbully creates a false identity to harass the person in an anonymous fashion. Also, the bully may pretend to be another person and send the victim nasty messages.

Why Do Some People Cyberbully?

It is important to understand why some people engage in cyberbullying if we want to effectively counter it. The most common reasons that cyberbullying occurs, according to the site EndCyberBullying, are:

  • It is anonymous. Teenagers feel as if they can be cruel to people they do not like without fear of consequences. Most cyberbullies state that they would not do it in person.
  • It is easy to pile on. The ease of sharing and interacting with large groups of people online makes it easy to join others who are abusing another person.
  • They are jealous. Some bullies attack others because they are jealous of the person for some reason, and want to bring that person down.
  • They want to get even. Some claim that the person wronged them and want to ‘give them what they deserve.’
  • They have been bullied. Some teens report that they have been cyberbullied and feel it is ok to do to others.

What Is Unique About Cyberbullying?

Social media is everywhere. Today it is very easy for large numbers of people – friends, family, acquaintances and strangers – to share online content, including comments, posts, photos and more. This can be a positive thing, but it can quickly become very negative in certain circumstances.The content about a person that is shared online, especially content that is negative, harmful or mean, creates a somewhat permanent record of the person’s views, behavior and activities.

When a person is the target of cyberbullying, a snowball effect through sharing can take place where larger and larger numbers of people are seeing and participating in behavior that is negative and harmful to a person.

The permanent record that is generated from these activities can affect one’s online reputation. It is generally easy to access by employers, colleges, schools, clubs, and many others who may need to research about a person now or in the future. Cyberbullying can be extremely harmful to the online reputation of the person that is targeted. It also can damage the online reputation of others who participate in it.

The major, unique concerns of cyberbullying that make it such a pervasive problem today are that it is:

  • Persistent: Smartphones, computers and tablets offer us the ability to communicate 24/7. It may be challenging for young people to escape cyberbullying.
  • Permanent: The vast majority of information that is sent and received electronically is public and permanent, unless it is reported and removed, which can be difficult. A person saddled with a negative online reputation can have difficulty finding employment, getting into college, and even enjoying normal personal relationships.
  • Hard to notice: Teachers and parents may not be aware that cyberbullying is occurring because it largely occurs in cyberspace and not in person (StopBullyinggov).

These unique attributes of cyberbullying make it a pervasive problem that can be challenging to stop once it starts.

What Are the Warning Signs of Cyberbullying?

There are many signs that can indicate that a child or teen is being affected by cyberbullying. Recognizing the warning signs is essential to taking action. Many young people will not tell their parents that they are being bullied.

If you have a child or a teen, you should be watching for these signs of them being cyberbullied:

  • Becomes angry or distressed when she is using her cell phone or computer
  • Appears to be anxious when getting an email or IM
  • Avoids talking about her cell phone activities
  • Becomes more withdrawn from activities, hobbies, friends and family
  • Grades drop for no apparent reason
  • Does not want to go to school or to certain classes
  • Shows rapid change in mood, sleep, appetite or behavior (Hinduja)

Cyberbullying Advice

There are things that parents, adults and the targets of cyberbullying can do to reduce the problem:

  • Talk to your children regularly about cyberbullying and why it is wrong and can have very negative consequences, both for the victim and the attacker.
  • Always encourage young people to tell a responsible adult if the bullying is going on. Let them know that if they are being victimized, they will not be punished and they are not at fault.
  • Teenagers should always save the cyberbullying messages for proof. The parents may want to talk to the parents of the bully or to contact the Internet provider. In the worst cases, the saved messages can be given to the police as evidence.
  • Block the person who is sending the hateful messages. The child may need to get a new cell phone number or email address, and be very cautious about giving them out.
  • Remind children and teens to never share on social media, text or IM anything that they are not comfortable being public. Tell them that they person you think you are talking to may be someone else. Generally, remind them that nothing sent online in social media and chat is secure.
  • Encourage teens to not live through their cell phones. Turn it off and get some exercise, read a book and do other fun hobbies that have nothing to do with social media and electronic devices.
  • Tell teens to never send inappropriate or sexual images of themselves to anyone online. Those images can easily be shared. It is very common for ex-boyfriends to share explicit, humiliating photos of exes on social media to get revenge.
  • Have times when all Internet connected devices are turned off, such as at night after dinner.
  • Wait until children are in high school until you allow them to have a phone and email account. Monitor those accounts regularly after the children have them (Safekidscom).

Cyberbullying Laws

Until recently, there were few laws that specifically addressed cyberbullying. But state and federal legislators have becoming more aware of some of the high-publicity cyberbullying incidents that have been covered in national media.

Laws Are Being Passed, But Limited in Scope

Some laws have sprung up in some states, but enforcement is often left to school administration officials. For this reason, cyberbullying often is treated today as a civil rather than criminal offense.

Still, prosecutors are sometimes using current laws on the books against people who are suspected of cyberbullying. Criminal harassment laws often can be a basis for filing charges in severe cases. More serious criminal charges can be brought where a cyberbullying situation led to suicide or other types of self-harm.

There have been some recently created cyber harassment statutes that may provide a means to charge online bullies in some jurisdictions. Almost half of US states today have mentioned ‘cyberbullying’ in their general bullying statutes. The good news is that the national trend is towards more accountability for bullying generally. This means that there will be more laws written in the future to specifically address cyberbullying.

Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act

A good example for other state statutes is the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act (Chang). The law was passed in the memory of Jeffrey Johnson, who took his own life after enduring two years of Internet attacks and taunts. The act mandates that all schools in the state adopt policies to discourage all types of bullying, or lose state funding.

This law prohibits bullying of all K-12 students in the state, as well as staff members. There are specific mentions of cyberbullying in the statute. It does not have criminal consequences for cyberbullying, but school staff is directed to draft new policies and to report when bullying occurs.

Jessica Logan Act

Another recent cyberbullying law was signed in Ohio, known as the Jessica Logan Act. It was named after a Cincinnati high school student who committed suicide after a nude photo she sent to her boyfriend was eventually shared with hundreds of teens after the couple broke up. The new law addresses cyberbullying and requires schools to enact anti-harassment policies in Ohio (NoBullyingcom).

Fighting Cyberbullies

There also are ways to make cyberbullies pay for their actions that do not involve the criminal justice system. One of the most famous examples of a cyberbully takedown is the case of famed Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling.

In 2015, Schilling posted a Tweet on Twitter congratulating his 17 year-old daughter on being accepted into college and onto the college softball team. What began as a simple congratulatory text quickly devolved into many offensive, sexual responses from several Twitter users. Some of the responses came from people who were over the age of 21, and they included content about raping his daughter, who was a juvenile at the time.

Schilling took it upon himself to track down the worst offenders. He found out their names, where they worked and where they went to school. While the cyberbullies did not get criminally charged, many of them were kicked out of school and fired from their jobs (People Magazine).

This example highlights how identifying one’s attackers can be used against them, if it is possible to do so.

Cyberbullying Tactics

The US government website StopBullying.gov stresses that it is important for us to understand how children and teens are cyberbullied. That way, it is easier to recognize and action can be taken quickly. Some of the favorite cyberbullying tactics include:

  • Posting rumors or comments on social media or groups about a person online that are humiliating or hurtful.
  • Threatening to harm someone in an online communication or telling the person to harm themselves.
  • Posting a picture or video that is mean or hurtful.
  • Pretending to be another person online, the purpose of which is to post false or personal information about the person.
  • Posting hateful or mean comments about any religion, ethnicity or race or any other personal characteristics online.
  • Creating a hurtful webpage or site about another person.

Cyberbullying Stories

Below are more specific examples of the cyberbullying tactics that may be employed. Some of these activities may cross the line into criminal behavior:

  • Nude photo sharing: A teenaged girl may share a nude picture of herself with her boyfriend. After she breaks up with him, he shares the picture with their joint friends, who then make fun of her in texts and on social media.
  • False accusations: Students get in trouble for a party with alcohol present. They wrongly accuse a teenaged girl of reporting the party to the school and to parents. The group starts to text her all day and night, and posts negative comments about her on social media. She eventually shuts off her social media accounts and changes her cell number, but the bullying continues even at school.
  • Bullying for economic challenges: Students may post harmful and negative things about a person’s economic status, including how they dress or where they live, or the car they drive. The student is ridiculed for being ‘poor’, and the harassment may spill over to school, which affects the student’s academic performance.
  • Bullying for being gay: A teenaged boy who is openly gay gets death threats via text messages and on social media. Students might even create an anti-gay social media page and post hateful messages.
  • Encouraging suicide: A teenager with a physical disability is harassed on social media. He is called bad names and is told he should commit suicide.
  • Jealousy: A teenaged girl is cyberbullied by other girls for going out with a popular boy. The other girls send her negative messages on social media and texts (NoBullyingcom).

Cyberbullying Effects

Cyberbullying leads to the same negative effect as regular bullying for the most part. But victims also will experience some unique effects, feelings and consequences to cyberbullying:

  • Overwhelmed: Being the target of cyberbullying can feel crushing to children and teens because a lot of people may participate in it. To the child, it may feel as if their entire world is turning on them (Verywellcom).
  • Vulnerable and powerless: It can be hard for victims to feel safe. This is because the cyberbullies can virtually invade the home through the electronic device or computer. They may feel as if there is nowhere that they can escape. This can be exacerbated by the fact that the bullies are frequently anonymous and hiding behind fake online names and handles. The children or teens may have no idea who has targeted them.
  • Humiliation: Online bullying has a feeling of permanence to it because the negative messages are recorded online. The negative posts, photos and comments also can be rapidly shared with large numbers of people. It is easy for almost everyone in a school to be made aware of a negative post or photo by the ease of sharing.
  • Dissatisfaction: Cyber bullies are often attacking the person in their most vulnerable area. That is why victims may start to feel they are without value. It is possible that they may engage in self harm. For example, if a teenaged girl is made fun of on Facebook for being ‘fat,’ she may starve herself to lose weight.
  • Anger: Victims may experience intense anger and begin to plot revenge and retaliation. This can be a negative experience for the victim and is rarely recommended.
  • Disinterest: Cyberbullying victims may no longer relate to people around them in the same way. For many of them, their lives may feel without purpose, and they may no longer show interest in family, friends and their hobbies. It is possible for feelings of suicide and depression to set in.
  • Anxiety and depression: Victims may get depressed and feel anxious; this is because cyberbullying attacks their self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Illness: The stress of cyber bullying can affect one physically. It can lead to headaches, nausea, lack of sleep, stomach ulcers and acne. They may also have nightmares that lead to insomnia and other health problems.
  • Suicide: In the worst cases, cyberbullying can lead to suicide. Children who are being routinely tormented by their peers online and in text messages may feel they need to take drastic measures to escape the pain and humiliation.

Tools to Fight Cyberbullying

There also are many helpful apps and programs that parents can use to combat cyberbullying. According to Parents.com, some of the best apps available today are:

  • Mobicip: This award-winning app for kids has many parental controls, such as category blocking, time limits, Internet activity reports, blocked phrases and filtering for Youtube.
  • NearParent: This app allows the family to construct a trusted adult network who can help children when they need help.
  • GogoStat’s Parental Guidance: Allows parents to see posts from their children that contain references to drugs and vulgarities. It also tells you when they are posting photos and any personal details that should not be public. Another great feature is you can check when new friends are added that are out of a specified age range or area of the country.
  • Safe Eyes Mobile: You can control the Internet usage for your children when he is on their iPhone by blocking questionable websites.
  • My Mobile Watchdog: Receive alerts on your phone and computer that provide updates about unusual and questionable photos, texts, and videos.
  • CyberSynchs’ Parental Mode: Allows you to back up, share and sync data between the computer and phone. Parental Mode allows you to get reports that have content with flagged phrases that may indicate violence, sexual acts and bullying.
  • Net Nanny: Sends you alerts when any alarming keywords and phrases are used. Parents can program these words and phrases in advance.
  • You Diligence: If your child has any social networking accounts, you can use this tool to monitor his pages and track keyword phrases that indicate bullying, cursing, sex and violence (DiProperzio).
  • There is a CyberBully hotline app that can be downloaded for both Android and iPhone.

Some of the major social media websites also are making efforts to fight cyberbullying. Instagram, for example, has added tools and programs that are reducing the number of abusive comments made on the app. One of the specific programs on Instagram today is geared toward finding bullying comments.

Instagram is doing this by using artificial intelligence; the site has developed algorithms that can frequently guess if a comment is abusive to another person. Instagram also features keyword filters that can block out words that are commonly associated with abuse. It also has a new group blocking feature that gives users the power to block entire groups of people, not merely individuals. To set up the new anti-bullying tools, the user simply goes to settings, and then to comments. By enabling keyword filters, you can then input words and word combinations you want to restrict (Pelletiere).

Methods to Reduce Cyberbullying

Some schools have formal programs to reduce the incidence of cyberbullying, but there are ways to incorporate the general topic of bullying and cyberbullying into school lessons and activities that can reduce the problem.

  • School assignments that involve library and Internet research about types of bullying, how to stop it and how youth should respond
  • Presentations in the classroom about how to stop different forms of bullying. Some of these presentations are available through vendors such as InternetSafetyConcepts.com.
  • Class discussions about bullying
  • Creative writing projects that deal with bullying and its effects
  • Classroom plays and dramas that show forms of bullying and how it makes people feel

It also is important for all teachers and other educators to be trained on what bullying and cyberbullying is, what the policies of the school are, and how to enforce rules. The training can consist of staff meetings, training sessions and teaching through modeling (StopBullyinggov)

Cyberbullying Statistics

Cyberbullying affects millions of children and adolescents every day. As the statistics below indicate, cyberbullying is a widespread and growing problem:

  • According to the 2014-2015 School Crime Supplement, 21% of students from 12-18 experiencing some form of bullying.
  • The 2015 Youth risk Behavior Surveillance System states that 16% of high school students experienced bullying electronically in the year before the survey was taken.
  • 95% of teenagers have witnessed bullying on social media (NoBullyingcom).
  • More than 80% of teens use a cell phone, making it the most popular device for cyber bullies (DoSomething.org).
  • More than half of children and teens report that they would never tell their parents if cyberbullying happened to them.
  • Girls are more likely to be targets of cyberbullying than boys.
  • Fewer than 20% of cyberbullying events are reported to the police (BullyingStatisticscom).

Cyberbullying Studies

An important way to reduce the prevalence of cyberbullying is to conduct studies on the problem and reach conclusions based upon scientific evidence.

Recent cyberbullying studies suggest a growing prevalence of the problem, and possible solutions to reduce its effects (Schneider). The study of 406 high school students in 2008 in Massachusetts completed surveys of students by assessing their level of bullying victimization and psychological distress, as well as signs of depression, suicidal feelings and likelihood of engaging in self injury. Overall, this study confirmed a need for stronger cyberbullying efforts that address all forms of bullying, and how they affect school performance and mental health.

High Numbers of Students Report Cyberbullying

The 2008 study determined that 15.8% of students had reported cyberbullying, and 25.9% reported the problem occurring in the last year. Almost 60% of victims reported that they were victims of bullying in school, and 36.3% of victims were bullying victims themselves. Victims were more likely to be homosexuals or lesbians. They reported that they were more likely than average to have a lower level of school performance and attachment. Distress tended to be higher among those who reported they were both victims and attackers.

The study also found that 95% of teens actively use the Internet, and 75% own a smartphone, which is higher than the 45% who reported owning a cell phone in 2004. Clearly, there is a much higher chance of cyberbullying today than in the past.

The study noted that cyberbullying features many unique traits that make it distinct from regular bullying. Because cyberbullying is electronic, it allows the attacker to often be anonymous and to share messages with a large audience whom the victim and attacker know.

The Massachusetts high school study found this interesting data about victims:

  • Girls were more likely to be victimized than boys by 11.1% to 7.6%.
  • 7% of non-heterosexual students were victims, compared to 8.5% of heterosexual students.
  • Students who received D’s and F’s in school were twice as likely to be victims of cyberbullying.

Conclusions of Study

The following conclusions can be made about cyberbullying from the study:

Most states mandate that schools address cyberbullying in their bullying programs and policies. But there is much flexibility in how much stress the schools place on stopping the problem. Most of it occurs outside of school, so parents play a vital role in stopping the issue.

  • Schools do need to have strong policies in place, including punishments, because there is a clear link between being a victim and school performance.
  • There are some groups that are more likely to be bullied than others, including girls, homosexuals and lesbians. Anti-bullying programs need to specifically address these vulnerable groups.
  • The study underscores the need for strong prevention efforts among parents and schools that address all types of bullying victimization inside and outside of schools.

Cyberbullying Prevention

Teens can prevent cyberbullying by doing a few simple things. By following these rules, you can both avoid being cyberbullied and prevent others from suffering from cyberbullying (Hinduja).

  • Be educated about cyberbullying. To prevent cyberbullying from happening, it is very important to understand what it is and how it spreads. Reviewing this article is a very good start. After you have a good understanding of what it is, talk to your friends about it and educate them about what constitutes cyberbullying. Point out that cyberbullying is wrong and harmful.
  • Protect all of your passwords. It is important to guard your passwords for all of your social media and email accounts. You should never leave your passwords where other people can find it. Do not give out your password information to anyone.
  • Keep your photos clean. Never send ‘sexy’ or naked images of yourself to another person, unless you would be ok with the world seeing it. Bullies commonly make nude pictures the focus of cyberbullying, and it can make your life miserable.
  • Do not open unsolicited messages. You should not ever open any type of emails, texts or other communications from people you do not know. Delete and do not read them. They might contain a virus that infects your electronic device that can steal your personal information.
  • Log out of accounts online. You do not want any chance that another person can pretend to be you on a phone, tablet or PC. A common problem is staying logged into a Facebook account on a public computer.
  • Think before you post. Do not ever post anything publicly that can affect your reputation negatively. People make judgments about you based upon what is available about you publicly.
  • Set strong privacy controls. It is a good idea to limit access to your online profiles to your trusted friends only. Most major social media sites such as Facebook let you to share personal information with close friends only. But you have to spend a few minutes setting up these privacy controls for best effectiveness.
  • Never post or share personal information, including your name, address, phone number, school name or parents’ names.
  • Google search yourself. You should search your name on Google regularly to see if there is any personal information about you that cyberbullies might use to target you. Take action to remove it before it becomes an issue.
  • Don’t be a cyberbully. It is important to learn to treat others as you want to be treated.

Also, one of the most important ways to stop cyberbullying is to refuse to pass along any messages that bully another person. It also is important to tell friends to not cyberbully others, and to report any cyberbullying to an adult.

Input from Experts and Notables

Cyberbullying is growing more and more pervasive, and experts and authorities frequently weigh in. Below are some quotes from experts and other notable people about this problem:

  • “Unless and until our society recognizes cyber bullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue.” – Anna Maria Chavez
  • “It’s easy to be mean when you’re Unknown Author. There’s a lot of people who wouldn’t have the cajones to say in person what they do online. But you can’t listen to somebody you don’t even know. Opinions of your friends and family matter, but you can’t listen to somebody who is nobody to you.” – Brendan Dooling
  • “I was bullied quite a lot when I was growing up in my Peking Opera School. I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared and didn’t know how to defend myself. I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself.” – Jackie Chan
  • “Cyber-bullying is poised to turn into the biggest online concern, already affecting up to 35% of all children.” – Dr. Martyn Wild
  • “If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.” – Taylor Swift
  • “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Desmond Tutu
  • “Not all forms of abuse leave bruises.” – Danielle Steel
  • “The Internet can be used as a place to have a greater positive impact on the world, There’s a ton of positive initiatives online. The web should be used to inspire others, not spread hate or to hurt others.” – Justin Bieber

Helplines, Blogs, Websites and Resources

If you are interested in reading more about bullying, cyberbullying, and related issues including mental health, anxiety, suicide and depression, below are some important sites to review. Also listed are helplines for people in crisis.

Helplines

  • Stop Bullying Now – Depression and Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255; Spanish 1-888-628-9454
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
  • Crisis Hotline: (775) 784-8090
  • Mental Health Treatment Helpline: 1-877-726-4727
  • Self-Injury and Self-Mutilation Alternatives: 1-800-366-8288
  • Trevor Project – Suicide Prevention for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.

Anti-Bullying

  • gov Blog: This is the official anti-bullying blog that is operated by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Cyberbullying Research Center Blog: This website runs a blog that covers bullying and cyberbullying related topics.
  • Pacer Kids Against Bullying: Anti-bullying website that also targets bullies.
  • Stomp Out Bullying: Dedicated to changing the culture for all students; wants to end bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse.
  • Kind Campaign: A nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing awareness and healing for girls who are being bullied.
  • It Gets Better: An anti-bullying site dedicated to the needs of gay and lesbian young people.
  • Ditch the Label: A leading anti-bullying non profit organization that is working to fight bullying internationally.
  • HolliKenley: This is an anti-cyberbullying blog operated by a marriage and family therapist.
  • I Am a Witness: An online campaign to end all forms of bullying.
  • The Wait Is Over: This family and lifestyle website features an extensive anti-bullying blog and news section.
  • com: An anti-bullying site that is operated by psychologist Evelyn Field in Australia.

Depression and Anxiety

  • com: A all things teen-related website that has posts and help available about bullying and cyberbullying.
  • Teen Anxiety Support Group: This blog and message board is concerned with teens who are dealing with anxiety, which often is due to bullying.
  • Natasha Tracy: A blog by a woman who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Turn Around Anxiety: A blog and website dedicated to anxiety in children.
  • Students Against Depression: A site that offers information and resources validated by mental health professionals for teens suffering from depression.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Resources for people who suffer from anxiety and depression.
  • MoodGym: An interactive self-help site that helps you to learn skills to deal with depression and anxiety.
  • This Way Up: Online courses that can help you to manage your depression

Summary

Cyberbullying above all else is a people and behavior problem, and solutions require actions by all major stakeholders – parents, teenagers, children, school officials and other responsible adults in positions of authority and influence.

The most effective way to reduce and even eliminate the scourge of cyberbullying in society often come down to education and taking official action where possible.

All parents, children and teens need to understand what cyberbullying is, its costs and results, who is most likely to engage in it and be a victim. All parties must understand that cyberbullying is unacceptable and there are ways to stop it.

School officials and politicians need to take appropriate actions when possible to stop bullying behavior, and parents always need to be on the lookout for cyberbullying among young people in their family and community.

Together, we can reduce the cyberbullying problem and use the online community as a force for good and bringing people together.

If you or someone you know is being bullied or cyberbullied, there are resources available that can help you right now. Please call one of these hotlines if you are in crisis:

  • Stop Bullying Now – Depression and Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
  • Self-Injury and Self-Mutilation Alternatives: 1-800-366-8288
  • Trevor Project – Suicide Prevention for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.

References