Adults are not the only ones who can take action against cyberbullying or communicating false, embarrassing, or hostile information online. Together, adolescents with adults can do something.
However, first it is important to note ssome differences between bullying and cyberbullying. Cyberbullying:
- can occur at any time
- has a larger audience and can lead to more embarrassment
- is harder to delete
Unfortunately, cyberbullying is very common.
Up to 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online.
About half of young people report they have said something mean or hurtful to another person online.
Bullying is especially common for teens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. About 9 out of 10 have experienced harassment at school or on social media.
As we get older, it is important to role model positive online behavior for younger people. Cyberbullying in adults is easily viewed if young people simply watch the news.
Adolescents are able to understand what the best decision is when they have time to think about it. When it comes down to impressing friends, though, they tend to make impulsive decisions. This impulsivity is harder to control online where sharing occurs quickly with many peers with the swipe of a thumb. The effects of this impulsivity can be devastating for the person being bullied.
We want to know your thoughts on:
- why bullying happens,
- what it takes to be an ally, and
- how can schools promote kindness?