Written by: Natasha Douglas
In the era of technology and social media, school is no longer the most common place to be bullied. While there are many who still struggle with this issue, the greater, and more disturbing issue has become the cyber bully. Cyber bullying is arguably worse than physical bullying. A person can hide behind a screen and pick at every insecurity you’ve ever felt about yourself and you may never know whom it was. It could be the girl that sits next to you in homeroom, it could be your next-door neighbour, it could be your “best friend” or it could be your teacher. That’s the disturbing idea associated with cyber bullying.
So what is cyber bullying? “Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging (IM), defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others” (Susan Keith and Michelle E. Martin).
Despite the numerous conversations on the topic, it is still a large issue that many are dealing with. 57% of students said that someone had said hurtful or angry things to them online with 13% saying it happens “quite often,” 53% of students admit saying mean or hurtful things to someone online and 7% admit to doing it “quite often,” 35% of students have been threatened online with 5% saying it happens “quite often.” (Susan Keith and Michelle E. Martin).
We as online users have to be conscious of the effect we have on others, choosing our words wisely and realizing that our words carry power.
Keith, Susan, and Michelle E. Martin. "Cyber-bullying: Creating a culture of respect in a cyber world." Reclaiming children and youth 13.4 (2005).