Cyber bullying: When an individual or group intentionally uses “information and communication involving electronic technology to facilitate deliberate and repeated harassment or threats to another individual or group by sending or posting cruel text and/or graphics using technological means.” ~Dilmac, 2009
Examples of cyber bullying:
- Mean text messages or emails
- Rumors sent via text, email, or posting on a social media site
- Posting of inappropriate pictures/videos of another
- Harrassment: repeated ongoing messages
- Denigration: untrue comments and rumors that the victim often does not see
- Impersonation: bully gains access to a person’s account and pretends to be the victim.
- Altering photographs
- Recording conversations without the victim’s knowledge
Bullies can remain anonymous using social media and technology to harass another! Unfortunately, many young people do not tell their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
What to do:
- Do not engage or respond to cyber bullies
- Tell a trusted adult about the bullying, and keep telling them until action is taken.
- Don’t open or read messages by cyber bullies, but don’t erase messages.
- Report incidents to the school if cyber bullying is school-related.
- If threatened, inform the local police.
This information was provided by Maria Cuddy-Casey, Ph.D., an associate professor and chair of the Psychology Department at Immaculata University, as well as a clinical psychologist specializing in children and adolescents.