It seems today that everybody from talk show hosts to teachers have something to say on the issue of "cyberbullying"--the harassment of others through an electronic medium. At a recent Connect-Ability workshop, we asked the writers just what they thought about this new and scary trend; and how to spot it.
Prompt: "Cyberbullying is when a bully uses technology devices such as cell phones, computers, and tablets to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, or embarrass another person.
How can you spot cyberbullying?"
"You can spot cyberbullying on most interactive social media these days. You can see a public interaction between two people or a group ridiculing each other. Most of the time it is out in the open for the purpose of gaining attention. Though, sometimes it is hard to spot genuinely becuse of the subtle difference between friends teasing, and a bully doing their job."
"Anytime someone is made fun of because of who they are over a computer monitor, it is cyberbullying. This can be the work of one "cyberbully" or a group. When one of these people sends you something nasty, it should be reported. If the instances keep occurring after that, then the police should become involved"
If you, or anyone you know ever feel unsafe or if you are ever threatened be it through the web or not--it is always right to let somebody know. A bully is only as successful as you allow them to be, and by telling a parent, teacher, coach, or any other grownup that you trust about what is going on--you have the power to end all kinds of bullying.