Counteract Cyber Bullying
By Mariah, age 15, Minnesota
"Cyber bullying" is when an adolescent (minor) is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another adolescent via the internet, mobile phone, or other interactive digital technologies. Cyber bullying can only occur between minors. If adults become involved, it is considered harassment, or "cyber stalking".
Cyber bullying is usually a recurring situation, unless it involves a threat. You'll usually know it when you see it, while parents may be more worried about the obscene language used by the kids than the hurtful effect of rude and embarrassing posts.
There are two kinds of cyber bullying: direct attacks (messages sent to kids directly) and cyber bullying by proxy (using others to help cyber bully the victim).
Who and How?
The methods used are limited only by the adolescent's imagination and access to technology. The cyber bully at one moment may become the victim the next. Adolescents use the internet, instant messaging, e-mail, and cell phones to bully other kids because they can remain anonymous.
♥ It makes them feel more powerful.
♥ It gives them a false sense of self-esteem.
♥ It's faster.
♥ It's entertaining, and they're bored.
♥ They do it for laughs. They want to see your reaction.
♥ Some just don't think, and accidentally send it or to the wrong person.
♥ They're power hungry, and want an ego boost.
♥ They think that they're standing up for someone, when they're actually the bully themselves.
♥ They don't think that they'll get caught.
♥ They may not have the courage to say something directly to their victim's face.
You have to know that, once you post something on the internet, it stays on the internet, even if you "delete" it.
You can be tracked by your IP address if you bully someone online. In other words, your identity is known to everyone regardless.
Children have been killed or have committed suicide after having been involved in a cyber bullying incident.
♥ Keep personal information private.
♥ Don't share or say anything online that you wouldn't want your parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, classmates, co-workers, or enemies to see.
♥ Don't share or say anything online that you wouldn't normally see in a Disney movie.
♥ Stop what you're doing, block the cyber bully, and tell your parents or a trusted adult.
♥ Blackle (an energy efficient version of Google - stay green!) your first name and last name, like "Jane Smith", and Blackle your e-mail address to see if your personal info is anywhere on the internet, and if you don't want it there, contact the webmaster of the site that it's on to take it off.
♥ Don't be an accomplice; don't become guilty by means of association.
♥ Whenever you get mad or angry, step away from the computer, or you may regret what you say to someone, when you don't even mean to say it.
♥ Make sure you send e-mails to the right people.
♥ Ask yourself if what you're sending is worth it. Say "No" to rumors, chain mail, and junk. If our world was free of those nuisances, there would be more time to get things done and focus on the important things in life.
♥ Always proofread and revise your e-mails; make sure the other person can understand what you're saying without having to grab a dictionary.
♥ Don't attack or insult others; don't start controversies, either.
♥ Don't talk about personal or private topics via e-mail or instant message; they could be forwarded to other people.
Cyber Dating Tips
♥ Do not believe everything that you read online.
♥ Do not share personal information.
♥ Do not rush into things.
♥ Be honest; don't impersonate someone else.
♥ If you want to meet a new person, contact them via a pay phone.
♥ When you meet them, bring some friends along and meet in a very public place, like a mall.
♥ Never leave or go home with them.
♥ Report attacks and threats to the police.