Everyone one of you knows what bullying is because it’s one of the first things we talk about at the beginning of the year, but did you know those nasty comments you see on people’s Facebook pages is also a form of bullying? I’m hoping you do and that this not news to you. However, I wanted to give you a few facts to think about when you are out there in the cyber world.
- 33 percent of youth have been victimized by cyber bullying.
- Among this percentage, being ignored and disrespected were the most common forms of cyber bullying.
- The primary cyber bullying location where victimizing occurs is in chat rooms (56 percent).
- Following chat rooms, 49 percent are victimized via instant message and 28 percent via e-mail.
- 34 percent of youth who are bullied feel frustrated, 30 percent angry and 22 percent feel sad.
- Oddly, because many studies show that females often deal with harder situations by becoming sad, this particular study suggests that females feel much angrier than males about being cyber-bullied.
- 41 percent of victims do not tell anyone in their off-screen lives about their abuse, but 38 percent did tell an online friend.
- The situation only improved for 19 percent of victims when they did tell someone about the bullying.
- 17 percent admitted to bullying another individual online.
- Of the offenders interviewed most considered it fun or instructive; such as a way to strengthen their victims.
- More than half of study participants feel that cyber bullying is as bad, or worse, as bullying in real life.
And finally some things for you to think about….
1. Guard your privacy. What people know about you is up to you.
2. Protect your reputation. Self-reflect before you self-reveal. What’s funny or edgy today could cost you tomorrow.
3. Nothing is private online. Anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission.
4. Assume everyone is watching. There’s a huge, vast audience out there. If someone is your friend’s friend, they can see everything.
5. Apply the Golden Rule. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
6. Choose wisely. Not all content is appropriate. You know what I mean.
7. Don’t hide. Using anonymity to cloak your actions doesn’t turn you into a trustworthy, responsible human being.
8. Think about what you see. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it true.
9. Be smart, be safe. Not everyone is who they say they are. But you know that.