Cyberbullying can be the spreading of hurtful rumors or directing harmful words or images toward another person using electronic devices. While adults have separated “cyber” bullying from face-to-face bullying, kids increasingly view their offline and online worlds as one. For today’s kids, it’s not “cyber” bullying, but bullying. Either way, bullying is never acceptable and unfortunately, bullying can spread more quickly with today’s online technologies.
On a cellphone, smartphone or tablet, cyberbullying may include phone calls, text messages, social network posts, videos and photos. According to the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1 in 6 U.S. high school students were bullied through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites or texting in the previous year. Another recent survey found that 26 percent of teens were bullied or harassed via text messages or phone calls. It is important that parents Learn & Engage on the issues and know How to Respond if their kids are the victims or perpetrators.
Cyberbullying is a serious issue. In extreme cases, it may have legal and/or psychological consequences for the victim and bully. It’s important parents talk to their kids to help them handle bullying.
CTIA and its member companies offer a number of initiatives and tools to help kids use their cellphones responsibly so they can avoid these kinds of issues, such as cyberbullying.