Cyberbullying, How to Make a Difference

From Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesdays | January 9, 2018

Definitions of cyberbullying vary, but usually, it’s defined as some form of intentional, repeated aggression, using electronic forms of contact, such as texting and social media.

I am not a big fan of the words “cyberbullying” and “bullying.” Pre-teens and teens have heard these words so many times they roll their eyes when they come up. Do the test —ask them if they feel they have been saturated with stuff about “bullying” and see how they respond. So, when I talk with them about such topics I often use the terms “online aggression” and “social cruelty.”

No matter what we call it, unkind and stressful human interactions are a part of life, and the sooner we give kids skills to practice working through conflict and cruelty, the better.  Research shows that twenty percent of 8-year-olds and forty percent of 10-year-olds have phones (the majority of which are smartphones) and kids with phones, not surprisingly, are significantly more likely to be involved in cyberbullying.

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