Cyber Bullying Statistics
In 2020 alone, 73% of students reported having been bullied in their lifetime. Of that 73%, 44% of them pointed out that the bullying had happened to them within the past 30 days. While it might be easy to simply focus on students, it is important to note that the problem exists and is somewhat entrenched in today’s society. Kindness seems foreign, and adults are also falling victim to bullying, with cyberbullying playing a key role in that. Overall, it is estimated that at least 36.5% of folks have faced cyberbullying in their life, with 17.4% reporting it happening to them in the last 30 days. The current statistics show more than double the increase of such cases from back in 2017, still with an increase in previous years, 2018 and 2019, which goes to show that the issue is getting slowly out of hand.
For students who reported cyberbullying, mainly on social media, 42% of them noted that it happened to them on Instagram. Facebook was responsible for 37% of cyberbullying cases, with Snapchat taking 31%, followed by WhatsApp with 12%, YouTube with 10%, and, lastly, Twitter with 9%. This goes to show that no one is immune to cyberbullying and that it can happen to anyone on any given platform. It also shows how kindness seems to be dwindling in society. On top of that, over 50% of students who identify as LGBTQ have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives. Statistics have also shown that girls are more likely to fall victims to cyberbullying than boys (35% compared to 26% for boys).
Additionally, 83% of those who have been cyberbullied have also reported being bullied in person.
Why the Increase in Cyber Bullying?
Today, according to the Pew Research Center, 95% of teens are connected to the internet, which is the highest that it has ever been in history. On top of that, 85% of teens are social media users. This means that more kids now have access to resources, knowledge, and information that is available on the internet. They can learn, acquire new skills, and add to the knowledge that they already have. They can also share their kindness with the world, and get kindness right back. On the downside, however, having access to the internet, and being active on social media only increases their exposure to potentially harmful interactions, mainly cyberbullying.
2020 saw over 1.2 billion kids in over 186 nations around the world being unable to go to class. It prompted a drastic change in education and the rise of e-learning. Over 81% of K-12 students had to attend their classes online, something that has never happened before. Overall, this means that students are spending more time on the internet than ever before, and this, in itself, presents a risk. In a study that was conducted on how students are handling virtual learning, it was noted that they spend 1-4 hours conducting research and doing their homework. They spend another 1-2 hours streaming videos and 1-2 hours on social media. They spend less than an hour on gaming and 0-2 hours on other online activities. All these numbers are higher than they were before the world shifted to virtual learning. With more time spent on the internet, these students are prone to encounter cyberbullying.
What Can Parents Do To Prevent Cyberbullying?
Everything requires moderation, and internet consumption is no exception. When it comes to children, parents ought to step in and not only provide supervision, but also set limits that will see to it that they consume the internet in moderation, and do so in a safe, and rewarding manner. Cutting down on internet use, or specific social media use will significantly reduce a child’s likelihood to be bullied online. As such, this would lead to a more productive internet experience, a healthier mind, and a more productive individual.
This, however, requires understanding technology and how it works. Parents need to learn how Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other social media platform that their kids use work. They should learn how to use them, for it is by so doing that they would understand how to tailor their child’s experience and, possibly, prevent them from bullying on these platforms. Parents should also set reasonable limits for their kids. This will help them to make responsible decisions regarding the use of technology, and it would shield them from bullying online as well. Lastly, while it might be considered intrusive by the kids, parents need to know their kids’ online acquaintances. A parent can assist their child to ascertain the distinction between an actual friend and a friendly alien, and this can play a big role in protecting the child from cyberbullying.
What to Look Out For to Tell If Your Child is Being Bullied
As a parent, it might be a bit difficult to tell if your child is a victim of cyberbullying. However, just because you can’t spot it doesn’t mean that he or she might not be a victim. One of the things that you, as a parent can look out for is unexplained depression or anger, especially after your kid goes online. You can also identify cyberbullying by your child’s unwillingness to share information about their online activity. In some cases, your child may also stop using the computer or phone with no explanation, and they may also appear nervous or jumpy should they get a notification on their phone or computer. Most of all, kids who are victims of bullying are overly secretive about what they do on their computer, and this can help you, as a parent, to know that your child is getting bullied online.
What To Do If Your Child Is A Bully
It is never a good experience having your child bullied by another. It is also unsettling to learn that your child has bullied another, be it in person or online. There are some things you can do, however, to address the issue, and this starts with addressing the bullying immediately. The minute you, as a parent, learn that your child has bullied another child, you need to talk to them right away, and most importantly, discuss with them why bullying is bad. Discussing is important since, at the end of the day, bullying is a choice. You also need to determine the root cause of the bullying, and this can be identified simply by conversing with the child. Disciplining the child also comes in handy. You need to take away privileges. Simple aspects such as taking away their electronics, or the privilege of attending a friend’s party can help to show them that there are consequences to their actions, and this can help to tame their bullying. You, as a parent, need to recognize that much as your child can be a victim of bullying, they can also be the perpetrators of bullying, and you need to address that sooner rather than later. In a world that is only growing harsher by the day, it is important for you to teach your kids kindness, and to show them that they can also be kind to others, be it in person, or online.
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