What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person. The term usually refers to online bullying, which can include sharing embarrassing photos of someone else, making threats, and sending mean or rude text messages or emails. It’s the use of electronic communication to harm, harass and threaten people and has become a serious concern in the United States.
In February of 2014, President Obama signed the law Stop Bullying: Reauthorization Act of 2013 (HR 4196), that requires each school to have for a plan to address bullying, including cyberbullying. Schools can also be reimbursed by the government for the expenses of implementing these plans.
After witnessing the tragic events of Columbine, the horrific Virginia Tech shooting, and the more recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, lawmakers are taking action to prevent these acts of violence and how schools handle bullying, harassment, threats, and physical and digital bullying (especially of the suicidal kind) of all kinds. The law also aims to prevent bullying in school or on the bus, and on school buses, in the hallways, on school grounds and during school-sponsored activities.
Increased screen time
According to Katie Hafner, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, a study among 1,300 young adolescents in a middle school found that those who spent more time using technology were more likely to report feeling bad about themselves, being unhappy, and having fewer close friends.
Prevalence of Cyberbullying
8/10 young people in the U.K. have experienced cyberbullying (Opalcyn, 2013)
79% of young people in the U.K. think hate speech is a problem that needs to be addressed (Opalcyn, 2013)
72% of adults think that young people need to be better informed on how to cope with bullying (opalcyn, 2013).
89% of young people in Ireland have been online bullied (McQuillan, 2013).
95% of young people in the U.K. think bullying is a problem that needs addressing (Opalcyn, 2013)
83% of young people in the U.K. did not feel that the school they attended provided them with enough information on cyberbullying (Opalcyn, 2013)
7 in 10 parents of young people in the U.K. do not think that schools do enough to make sure students are fully aware of the problem of cyberbullying (Opalcyn, 2013)
57% of young people in the U.K. think that educating young people on the effects of cyberbullying will be effective in reducing the problem (Opalcyn, 2013)
1 in 4 young people in the U.K. have experienced at least one kind of cyberbullying (Opalcyn, 2013)
Of Suicide, Depression.
In a 2014 study of over 7,000 adolescents, researchers found that cyberbullying victims were at least two times more at risk of attempting suicide than non-victims. Experts agree that cyberbullying is a strong predictor for suicide and depressive behavior.
- Adolescents that experience cyberbullying are at least twice as likely to consider suicide.
- Over 50% of students have had some experience with cyberbullying.
- One in every four students has been harassed online.
- Victims are six times more likely to consider suicide if the bullying is related to a breakup.
- More than 15% of students have attempted suicide.
- Cyberbullying increases depression and a feeling of helplessness among adolescents.
Most parents think that it’s only the older kids who are at risk. That’s far from the truth. All generations are, in fact, susceptible to cyberbullying, even toddlers. Today’s world is a 24/7 society, where both adults and minors can access the internet and social media sites any time from just about any location.
The issue of cyberbullying amongst minors isn’t a new one. In fact, back in 2007, it was estimated that nearly ninety percent of 7th grade students had been bullied online. While a recent survey conducted by the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids organization found that only one in four middle school students had been cyberbullied, the same study found that one in three school bus drivers reported being cyber bullied. (4)
Here are twenty important facts about cyberbullying to be aware of.
The average age of a child’s first exposure to cyberspace is 6 years old. (3)
Over sixty percent of adult internet users have witnessed abusive behavior online. (4)
Over fifty percent of youth have experienced it as well. (4)
Approximately two percent of kids have been tormented by bullies via cell phone usage. (1)
A group of experts consisting of neuroscientists, developmental psychologists, and social scientists were asked to examine the social aspects of cyberbullying, its impact on people’s lives, and ways to prevent it. The following statistics summarize what we’ve learned about cyberbullying and the reasons why you should care.
The majority of Americans are very concerned with online harassment and bullying. According to a 2015 survey, 90% of adults and 83% of teens agree or strongly agree that online harassment is a problem that should be taken seriously. 73% of adults report that people being hurtful towards one another online is a major problem that should be addressed.
Over a quarter of teens have reported to being the victims of cyberbullying, in the past year. According to Cyberbullying Statistics (2015), 27.6% of teens have been cyberbullies themselves and 29.8% of teens have been victims of cyberbullying.
10% of teens have seriously considered suicide in the past year due to cyberbullying according to Cyberbullying Statistics (2015). Over half of teens agree that online harassment or bullying is crushing their self-confidence. 49% of teens are willing to admit that it is causing them to lose sleep at night.
1 in 3 teens will experience cyberbullying on social media. 30% of teens have either experienced or witnessed cyberbullying on social media.
Need additional insights for a story?
Statistics have the power to capture the attention of readers and make them look twice. Use the following stats to give readers a new perspective on cyberbullying.