- Kieran Cook
- Mar, 07, 2013
- News, Info and Safety, Social Media Challenges
- Comments Off on Navigating the rabbit warren that is cyberbullying.
March 15th, 2013 is the NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE and as you may know, I have been researching cyber-bullying for the last couple of weeks now – and I think I need your help!
Even with all the research I have done, I am by no means an expert! I think I have only scratched the surface of the surface. Even writing this blog is a major process as there is so much data to trawl through – so many stats!
Before I detail how I need your assistance, let’s have a look at what I have found so far.
What has been reinforced, is obvious. Cyber-bullying is a horrid and despicable example of human nature. I think this is no real revelation to most people.
As I have dug a little deeper in the rabbit warren that is cyber-bullying, one of the more surprising realisations I have made is that this disgusting past time is not the exclusive domain of the school playground.
Workplace cyber-bullying is just as much a major issue as it is in schools.
For now though, I’m concentrating on the school yard, rather than the office cubicle.
Let’s look at some stats from a 2010 study from the US Cyberbullying Research Center (www.cyberbullying.us)
The research looked at nearly 4500 children between 10 and 18, chosen at random from schools in a southern US district.
- 1 in 5 have been cyberbullied at some point in their lives.
- 1 in 13 had been cyberbullied in the past 30 days.
- Think about a school of just 1000 students – that is 77 pupils!
And it isn’t just one student, or a small group of students doing the bullying! Let’s take a look at the offenders.
- 1 in 5 students have cyberbullied at some point in their lives.
- 1 in 12 students had cyberbullied someone in the past 30 days!
Breaking down of male v female. Girls are significantly more likely to have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives than their male counterparts (25% vs. 16%). The type of cyberbullying differs by gender, where girls are more likely to spread rumours while boys are more likely to post hurtful pictures or videos.
There have been similar smaller scale studies done in Australia which have shown comparable results.
The most concerning part of this activity is the effects on the victim. The common thread among all the studies show victims feeling sadness, loneliness, withdrawal, fear right through to a very small, but still present percentage of suicidal thoughts and even actual self harm.
I don’t have the solution to the problem – I don’t think anyone really does. There are a lot of studies… a lot of talk, and a lot of strategies. The first thing we can do as parents and guardians and teachers and friends is to be open with the children in our lives – there are some excellent resources available at the Australian Government Cybersmart web site.
The other thing we need to do is to implement some monitoring and alerting technologies to protect our children. Both from exposure to cyberbullying, and stopping them either inadvertently or purposefully being the perpetrator.
This is what I have been looking into for the past couple of weeks, and what I need your help with. Has anyone utilised some form of monitoring tool to help protect your child. Or do you know someone who has?
What do you feel makes a good technology in this category?
What features do you like?
What don’t you like?
Would you be willing to make your house hold a testing ground for me?
The information I gather from these answers will help me in choosing the most suitable technology to offer you to assist in protecting your children. You assistance will be greatly appreciated.