I once heard a lecturer say “technology never just gives, it always takes something back as well.” That phrase has always stuck with me, especially now that my entire day is focused on developing tools for parents to help prevent cyberbullying.
Smartphones and mobile connectivity have dramatically changed our world. It’s even made many things easier for us, and better! But at the same time, smartphones have introduced their own set of problems, especially for children.
I’m going to lay it all out on the table. The rise of cyberbullying isn’t slowing down. The constant connection and the difficulty of proper monitoring has led to an increase in children’s digital aggression. The number of cyberbullying incidents has risen every year since 2010. And that’s even with the international push for discussions about cyberbullying prevention.
The tech world moves incredibly fast. There is always some new social media app that has become insanely popular among children. It can very quickly become distracting, and terrifying. That’s why we’ve went back to the basic and outlined the facts, statistics, and areas of concern that parents need to be aware of to keep their children safe.
What Is Cyberbullying?
Let’s start from the beginning: Cyberbullying is defined as the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. It’s not so different from physical bullying. In fact, in many ways its even worse. Children can’t escape from cyberbullying. It follows them around even when they’re at home. And often, children don’t speak up, leaving them to handle it alone, day in and day out.
How Common is Cyberbullying?
34% of kids have been the target of cyberbullying. (Source)
87% of teens that use social media have witnessed cyberbullying.(Source)
24% of kids say that they wouldn’t know what to do if they were cyberbullied. (Source)
51% of cyberbullied teens say that is has continued for six months or more
10% of parents worldwide say their children experienced cyberbullying - far lower than the actual number. (Source)
How are Kids Getting Cyberbullied?
42% of kids on Instagram have been cyberbullied. (Source)
37% of kids on Facebook have been cyberbullied. (Source)
31% of kids on Snapchat have been cyberbullied. (Source)
70% of kids say that others have spread rumors about them online
26% of cyberbullied victims are chosen due to their race or religion. (Source)
61% of overweight teens are victims of cyberbullying. (Source)
The Effects of Cyberbullying
64% of kids who experienced cyberbullying said that it really affected their ability to learn and feel safe in school.
Cyberbullying victims are 1.9x more likely to have attempted suicide. (Source)
41% of cyberbullying victims develop social anxiety. (Source)
37% of cyberbullying victims develop depression
30% of cyberbullying victims had suicidal thoughts. (Source)
30% of cyberbullying victims self-harmed. (Source)
14% of cyberbullying victims developed an eating disorder