The dangers of cyberbullying

Studies show: children/tweens/teens that were exposed to cyberbullying felt:

When these negative emotions aren’t dealt with properly, victims may resort to the following behaviors:

Withdrawal, seclusion, avoidance of social relationships

Poor academic performance<

Bullying others – to feel in control

In extreme cases – SuicideRachael Neblett and Ryan Patrick Halligan are two youngsters that committed suicide, and their suicide has been connected to cyberbullying. Other similar cases have been documented.

Cyberbullying is even more harmful to young people than face-to-face bullying for a number of reasons:

  • Permanence: The insults, comments or images can be preserved by the person who was bullied or by others so that the victim may read or view them over and over again and the harm is re-inflicted with each reading or viewing.
  • Audience size: The size of the audience that is able to view or access the damaging material increases the victim’s humiliation.
  • Familiarity: Many young people are friends with or know their cyber bully either through school or other personal connections, increasing the potential for embarrassment and humiliation.
  • Social Networking: Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow cyber bullies to engage in campaigns against a particular person which may involve many others.
  • Speed: The speed at which harmful messages can reach large audiences also plays a major part in making cyberbullying so damaging to the targets.

As you see, the emotional effects that cyberbullying victims suffer can be devastating!

To learn how to deal with cyberbullying click here.

Click here if you’re concerned about the dangers of cyberbullying and want to learn what you can do to prevent it.


Johnson, J. M. (2009, March). The impact of cyberbullying: A new type of relational aggression. Paper based on a program presented at the American Counseling Association Annual Conference and Exposition, Charlotte, NC.

Online Predators – Statistics

You probably want to know if online predators are common and if this sort of thing happens often. Here are some interesting facts about online sexual predators:

Approximately 95 percent of all Americans between 12 and 17 years old are online and three in four teens access the internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices (as of 2012)

One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web. Solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk, or to give out personal sexual information. (only 25% of those told a parent)

About 30% of the victims of Internet sexual exploitation are boys.

Internet sexual predators tend to fall between the ages of 18 and 55, although some are older or younger. Their targets tend to be between the ages of 11 and 15

In 100% of the cases, teens that are the victims of sexual predators have gone willingly to meet with them.

There are 799,041 Registered Sex Offenders in the United States (2015).

Teens are willing to meet with strangers: 16 percent of teens considered meeting someone they’ve only talked to online and 8 percent have actually met someone they only knew online.

75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.

33% of teens are Facebook friends with other people they have not met in person..

Better safe than sorry

Cyberbullying statistics

Cyberbulllying is probably a lot more prevalent than you think. The statistics are in fact quite shocking. Take a look at these figures:

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center (2014):

Approximately 35% of students aged 11-14 experience cyberbullying in their lifetimes.

Mean or hurtful comments (14.4%) and rumors spread (14.1%) online are the most common types of cyberbullying.

Adolescent girls are significantly more likely to have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes (40.1% vs. 29.3%).

And take a look at these additional facts:

A poll conducted in 24 countries by the global research company Ipsos for Reuters News, the results of which were published in January 2012 found the following:

  • One in ten parents online (12%) around the world say their child has experienced cyberbullying
  • One in four (24%) of those parents say they know a child in their community who has experienced cyberbulllying and of those, 60% say the children experienced the harrassing behaviour on social networking sites like Facebook.

Consumer Reports survey conducted in the US in early 2011 reveals the following shocking statistic:
One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook in the past year!

Cyberbulllying around the world

The following table demonstrates parents’ attitudes to cyberbullying in 24 countries, including whether or not their child has been cyberbullied.

Source: Ipsos poll for Reuters News, January 2012

How do cyberbulllying victims feel?

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center both boys and girls are likely to report feeling angry, sad, and embarrassed.

Slightly more girls than boys feel frustrated, while significantly more boys are scared as a result of cyberbulllying.

According to the AP-MTV survey56% of those who have been bullied reported that they were “very” or “extremely” upset the most recent time they were targeted. Moreover, young people who have been bullied were twice as likely to have received treatment from a mental health professional and nearly 3 times more likely to have considered dropping out of school!


Cyberbulllying and self esteem

Research done by the Cyberbulllying Research Center shows that victims have lower self-esteem than non victims.

Cyberbulllying and suicide

Middle-school victims of cyberbulllying are more apt to commit suicide. The AP-MTV survey found that 8% of cyberbulllying victims and 12% of sexting victims have considered ending their own life compared to 3% of people who have not been bullied and were not involved in sexting.

But do they think before they act?

It’s also interesting to note that according to the AP-MTV survey, only about half (51%) of young people say they have thought the idea that things they post online could come back to hurt them later. In other words – about half of the young people do not think before they post!

Cyberbulllying is a serious issue. Click here to find out what you can do to prevent it.

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