What is different about cyberbullying?
According to a recent study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, approximately 20% of kids aged 11-18 say they have been victims of online aggression. In a world of catastrophic headlines and sensational sound bites, these numbers don’t actually sound so bad, but take the time talk to any school-aged technology user (read: just about any tween or teen that you meet on the street) and you will no doubt gather that the danger posed by cyberbullying is not in the breadth of its perpetrators and victims, but rather in the depth of damage that online aggression can cause. Just what is it that makes cyberbullying so bad?
I’ve written about how both parents and teachers can play a pivotal role as cyber-shields to ensure a safe online life for their children by putting on their advisory hat and, when needed, shielding their kids from harm. We should also encourage children to act as social media role models for each other: friend-to-friend, sibling-to-sibling.