Bullying can affect anyone, no matter what age. It takes on many different forms, from face-to-face harassment to online abuse, and it’s time we do something about it.
With the rise of smartphones, social media, memes, and the internet, bullies have more ways to target their victims than ever before. With research showing that at least 1 out of 10 young people suffer cyber bullying every few weeks, we can’t ignore the impact online abuse has.
Read on to learn more about several crucial facts that you need to know about cyber bullying which will tell you the importance and urgency of dealing with this issue.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Put simply, cyber bullying is the use of digital technology and devices such as mobile phones, messaging apps, and the internet, to intimidate, embarrass, or harass others. This can be through the creation of memes or videos or posting offensive updates that target a specific person on social media.
What Makes Cyber Bullying Different from Other Kinds of Bullying?
Cyber bullying is particularly serious because it can take place any time of the day or night. For example, even if school finishes for the day, the threat of cyber bullying still continues. It’s also easy for cyber bullies to hide behind anonymous names and faces online, making it hard for victims to know who’s bullying them. This can be very unsettling and intimidating for those involved.
The significance and criticality of the situation is highlighted by the following major stats:
1. It’s Affecting an Alarming Number of Students
Statistics show that:
- At least 1 in 4 Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students have been frequently bullied online;
- 24% of children and teenagers will suffer some form of cyber bullying; and
- 87% of young people have witnessed cyber bullying of some kind.
2. It Can Take Many Forms
Although there are many ways to bully someone, from sending abusive texts to recording nasty videos and posting them online, the most common forms of cyber bullying are:
- Hurtful teasing, which is the most common type of cyber bullying;
- Embarrassing or sexual photos taken without consent (affects 1 in 10 young people) and
- Impersonation, either by setting up fake pages or pretending to be someone else.
3. Many Still Don’t Understand it
It’s obvious that cyber bullying is an increasingly serious problem, but many parents, teachers and educators don’t have a sufficient understanding of what it is.
- Teacher awareness of cyber bullying, and how to manage it, can decrease incidents by up to 50%;
- The majority of teachers don’t feel confident in tackling cyber bullying because they feel they lack the training to handle it properly; and
- Even teachers frequently experience cyber bullying of some form, and they don’t know how to respond.
4. Cyber Bullying Affects Student Well-being
Cyber bullying has a particularly profound impact on the young person targeted.
- There’s been a sharp rise in the number of students wanting to harm themselves as a result of bullying online;
- 24% of teachers believe students are absent from school because of cyber bullying; and
- 83% of victims experience hurt feelings because of name calling and abuse online.
5. Cyber Bullying Can Happen to Anyone
There’s no age limit or restriction for cyber bullying. It really can affect anyone.
- LGBTQ students are four times more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience cyber bullying;
- 72% of victims are targeted because of their looks; and
- The perpetrator is typically someone known to the victim.
How Starshell Student Can Help
We believe that parents and educators need more support to tackle cyber bullying with confidence, which is why we developed our protective and educational platform, Starshell Student.
Created by Kudos Knowledge, a developer of innovative tech programs with global reach, Starshell Student is a cyber bullying education and protection platform geared towards young people. It aims to educate students, parents, and teachers on what cyber bullying is, and how to stop it in its tracks. With its intelligent algorithms and features, Starshell Student can even stop potentially abusive messages from reaching their target and explains to the sender what’s wrong with the message or social media update before they post it.
To find out how Starshell Student can help create a safer online environment for young people or if you want to join our campaign against cyber bullying, sign up and become a member. Contact us to know more.