What Is Cyberbullying?
“Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
- Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
- 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
- 1 in 5 students reports being a victim of bullying.
How To Stop Cyberbullying
It’s not your fault
If someone is repeatedly cruel to you, that’s bullying and you should not blame yourself. No one deserves to be treated cruelly.
Don’t respond or retaliate
Sometimes a reaction is exactly what aggressors are looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. And retaliating can turn one mean act into a chain reaction. If you can, remove yourself from the situation.
Save the evidence
The only good news about bullying online or on phones is that it can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You can save that evidence in case things escalate.
Tell the person to stop
Don’t do it if you don’t feel totally comfortable doing it, because you need to make your position completely clear that you will not stand for this treatment any more.
Reach out for help
You deserve backup. See if there’s someone who can listen, help you process what’s going on and work through it – a friend, relative or maybe an adult you trust.
Use the tech tools
Most social media apps and services allow you to block the person. Whether the harassment’s in an app, texting, comments or tagged photos, do yourself a favor and block the person. You can also report the problem to the service. If you’re getting threats of physical harm, you should call your local police (with a parent or guardian’s help) and consider reporting it to school authorities.
Protect your accounts
Don’t share your passwords with anyone – even your closest friends, who may not be close forever – and password-protect your phone so no one can use it to impersonate you.
Bullying in Hawaii
In a survey released last year, 1 in 6 Hawaii high school students said they had been bullied online or via text messages, and 20 percent reported being bullied on school property.
The same survey found nearly one-fourth of Hawaii middle-school students said they had been victims of cyberbullying, and 41 percent reported being bullied at school at least once.