Let’s skip the drawn-out game of hangman and cut to the chase: fill in those four blanks with cyberbullied.
Bullying through technology takes harassment to an incomprehensible level. Can you fathom reading indelible deprecating comments about you that will forever remain on the internet? Can you picture 40% of the world’s population reading these insults from all over your neighborhood, state, and all across the globe? Can you imagine being exposed to this sort of maltreatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round? This is the reality for an overwhelming amount of students, and the effects are egregious.
Although studies are difficult to decipher given the ever-evolving use of tech by teens, many connections have been proven. When students are cyberbullied, they’re more likely to experience:
Unwillingness to go to school
Varying health problems
Alcohol and drug use
Violent thoughts to oneself and others
Needless to say, cyberbullying is an epidemic. News stories incessantly report teens taking their own lives due to bullying. So much so, we’re dangerously at risk of desensitization. How do we put an end to this pervasive problem?
Promote digital citizenship. It's a big world out there, and it's even bigger now on a virtual scale. It's imperative that we teach our students proper online etiquette to keep them safe, a topic widely known as digital citizenship. It's commonly defined as "the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use." As educators, parents, media specialists, and any sort of role models to students, always demonstrate proper "netiquette." Advocate for privacy protection, positive and constructive online dialogue, and appropriate use of the web for enhancing academic value. Exposure to digital citizenship at an early age is crucial, espcially in today's technologically advanced world.
Need help in encouraging healthy habits on the web? Download our digital citizenship poster we designed for your classroom. VariQuest's Design Center Software also has several anti-cyberbulling posters at your fingertips.
Fill out the form below to download your free poster!