Cyberbullying and E-Safety: What Educators and other Professionals Need to Know

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Cyberbullying has become an increasingly common trend but individual interpretation has made understanding its definition sometimes confusing and unclear. Cyberbullying is defined as torment, harassment, intimidation or pressure that is applied to an individual that takes place by using new media. “We use the term new media to describe a media ecology where more traditional media, such as books, television, and radio are converging with digital media, specifically interactive media and media for social communication” (Ito et al., 2009). Common equipment used by offenders can be devices such as computers, cell phones, tablets; any technology that allows for communication. New Media has influenced cyberbullying to become an increasing and…show more content…
Social networking sites are increasing as a communication tool of choice with 58% of individuals using social network sites at least once a week, an increase of 14% from the previous year. Notably, 100% of individuals surveyed under the age of 24 spend time online (Kowalski et al., 2006). This does make it easier for adults to recognize and handle due to the physical evidence. Unfortunately, slander and information are challenging to get rid of once published on the internet. All kinds of bullying are damaging especially cyberbullying. Victims tend to feel frustrated, angry, sad, distracted and unsafe. Cyberbullying is serious and has the potential to lead to very negative outcomes. Cyberbullying Research Center (2013) indicated that “Cyberbullying in particular has shot to the forefront of agendas in schools and communities due to the emotional, psychological, and even physical harm to which victims can be subjected”. The vast audience makes the damaging effects far more reaching and allowing less ability to escape. Cyberbullying is devastatingly and overwhelmingly pervasive because of the created memories and negative reminders that exist for years. Children who are victims are more likely to get into troublesome habits such as alcohol, drugs, skipping school, poor grades and having lower self-esteem. The additional stress caused by the harm can even potentially lead to major health problems. Some believe the effects of

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