By Kim Ballentine, a Penn State University Graduate, interested in counseling psychology.
We all probably met our first bullies on the playground – they were the ones calling us names or excluding us from games. But even when we move from elementary school to middle or high school, bullies just find new ways to upset people.
But no bullies are no longer limited to face-to-face confrontation as the internet has opened a whole new world to them called cyberbullying – no wonder technology is shown to ramp up teen stress!
Cyberbullying cases have been all over the news, and they’ve actually become really common. In fact, statistics show that 50% of teens have been bullied online and 1 out of 3 teens has received a cyber threat. And what’s worse, over half of people never tell their parents about what’s happening, so they never get help.
And if you ever think about sending a nasty message online, don’t! Not only is that incredible hurtful, but your actions can have serious legal consequences – imagine how that will look on your college transcript, or how guilty you’d feel if you deeply upset someone because of it.
Also, know that cyberbulling isn’t always as severe as sending death threats or completely trashing someone online. All it takes is one angry message or stolen picture to hurt someone, ruin a reputation, or get in serious trouble.
It is also important to remember that, if you know someone who is being bullied in any way, do not sit around and do nothing. Being a passive bystander can actually make the problem worse by giving the bully an audience, and ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. The best thing to do is to take and stand and walk away from the situation to show you disapprove, or notify someone of authority who can better handle the situation.
Bullies should never go unnoticed or get away with their actions, and cyberbullies are no different. The internet can be a wonderful thing, and let’s not let nasty behavior ruin that.
Last reviewed Nov 24., 2014.