Mobile phones, Internet access and social networking have opened many doors for teenagers to stay connected to one another. However, it’s also brought the dangers of bullying to the forefront, as more and more teenagers are exposed to its verbal and visual violence. In today’s interconnected world, bullying poses a serious problem for countless teens.Therefore, the need arises for Cyber Bullying Statistics.
Cyber bullying isn’t just a phenomenon that is confined to the United States – it is a worldwide problem that affects teens across the globe. In Poland, approximately 52 percent of Internet users from the ages of 12 to 17 have witnessed or been exposed to abuse via the Internet or mobile phones. According to statistics gathered by the University of Valencia in 2010, over 25 percent of teenagers have suffered abuse through the Internet or mobile phones.
Before we look at Cyber Bullying Statistics, we must try to understand Cyber Bullying at first.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is bullying behavior (tormenting, threatening, harassment, etc.) that takes place through electronic mediums, including the Internet and mobile phones. This form of bullying can take on various forms, including:
- Delivering threats or hurtful messages to someone via email or text message
- Spreading false rumors through text message, online boards or social networking sites
- Leaving hurtful, harassing or threatening messages on web pages or social networking sites
- Impersonating someone else online to harass or hurt another person
- Spreading unflattering or sexually suggestive pictures of another person and spreading them via Internet or cell phones
Cyber bullying is something that affects teens of all races and genders. Recent statistics show that boys are more likely to receive threats from cyber bullies that girls, while girls are just as likely as boys to engage in cyber bullying or fall victim to cyber bullying.
The act of cyber bullying itself is often fluid enough for the bully to become the victim and vice-versa. Often times, a target of bullying can easily become an aggressor, while someone who attempt to defend a target of bullying ends up becoming a target themselves.
Cyber bullying is a form of teen violence that has lasting and even deadly repercussions for many teenagers. It’s also a form of violence that most parents don’t find out about until it is too late, since over half of young teens who experience or witnessed online bullying do not tell their parents.
The following cyber bullying statistics help shed light on a growing problem among teens throughout the world:
- According to i-Safe Foundation, one in three teens have experienced cyber bullying threats online and over 25 percent of teens have suffered repeated cyber bullying.
- Half of teens who use the Internet, social media or cell phones have experienced cyber bullying.
- According to the Pew Internet Research Center, 55 percent of teenagers witness bullying on social media, while 95 percent of teenagers who have witnessed this bullying have seen other ignoring this behavior.
How to Stop and Prevent Cyber Bullying
By becoming more aware of cyber bullying as it happens, parents and authority figures can help reduce the prevalence of cyber bullying. Parents should talk to their teens about this phenomenon, explain how it can have devastating consequences and encourage teens to alert an adult if cyber bullying occurs. Victims of cyber bullying should keep messages as proof for parents and/or law enforcement officials, especially if the messages are threatening or sexual in nature. There are other ways parents and teens can help stop cyber bullying in its tracks:
- Teens should never share personal information online or meet people they only know online.
- Parents should keep the computer centrally located in a shared area (i.e. living room or family room) and not allow teens to have computers or Internet access in their own rooms.
- Teens should be encouraged to not share anything they don’t want made public through texting or instant messaging.