Cyberbullying is using technological means to intimidate, spread rumors/slander, harass, threaten, or otherwise use digital media to abuse someone mentally, emotionally, or verbally. Cyberbullying has the potential to cause intense harm to others because it can happen anytime, be carried around with a person anywhere, and spread quickly in ways that can never be undone.
An element of cyberbullying that is of particular concern is that sometimes children, youth, or adults don’t realize that they are cyberbullying, either because of ignorance about online etiquette or because digital interactions often don’t have the benefit of the kind of nonverbal communication that happens in face-to-face communication. Also, the ability to be anonymous online or hide behind a digital medium can also too often leave people saying or doing things through digital means that they wouldn’t do face-to-face. Cyberbullying is a tragic consequence of anyone being able to say anything online.
So, what do we do about cyberbullying? Let’s get pumped about understanding the issue, and turning it around by sharing the positive and uplifting others online!
We all know that creativity stems from opening up dialogue and letting ideas flow, so here are some questions for you to think about.
- Why do people cyberbully?
- If someone has been a victim of cyberbullying, what should he or she do?
- How can we combat cyberbullying?
- What can students do to turn the table and make people think twice before they post something?
- What will make people want to be kinder online?
Here are some student projects created to combat Cyberbullying:
- Rethink: this is a video of a 14 year old girl, who was a finalist in the Google Science Fair, and her idea to help reduce cyberbullying.
- Video Compliments: (Scroll down to video and skip to 13:55) Students were filmed saying something nice to another student. Way to combat cyberbullying!
- Students Spread Happiness to Combat Haters and Trolls: There are quite of few student videos created here, as well as tweets #IDOH and a slideshow.
- One student anonymously used Instagram throughout the school year to post positive things about classmates online. It was his own personal project.
Start brainstorming with your students or kids on how they, and you, can make a difference and improve others’ experiences online. Please share your ideas and stories with us in the comments below.
- The Ophelia Project: A curriculum for grades 6-12, check out more curricula here.
- Create an Anti-Cyberbullying Sign Campaign
- Lesson Idea
Don’t forget to check out our extensive page on Cyberbullying to find curriculum help and other great resources.
One of our main goals with DigCitUtah is to share with each other ways to get youth/students involved in positive projects with digital media. Please comment or contact us with any ideas or stories that could be helpful to others.