refers to the new, and growing, practice of using
technology to harass, or bully, someone else. Bullies used to be
restricted to methods such as physical intimidation, postal mail, or
Now, developments in electronic media offer forums
as email, instant messaging, web pages, and digital photos to add to
the arsenal. Computers, cell phones, and PDAs are new tools that can
be applied to an old practice.
cyberbullying can range in severity from cruel or
embarrassing rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. It can affect
any age group; however, teenagers and young adults are common victims,
and cyberbullying is a growing problem in schools.
cyberbullying become such a problem?
anonymity of the internet is appealing for bullies
because it enhances the intimidation and makes tracing the activity
more difficult. Some bullies also find it easier to be more vicious
because there is no personal contact. Unfortunately, the internet and
email can also increase the visibility of the activity. Information or
pictures posted online or forwarded in mass emails can reach a larger
audience faster than more traditional methods, causing more damage to
the victims. And because of the amount of personal information
available online, bullies may be able to arbitrarily choose their
may also indicate a tendency toward more serious
behavior. While bullying has always been an unfortunate reality, most
bullies grow out of it. Cyberbullying has not existed long enough to
have solid research, but there is evidence that it may be an early
warning for more violent behavior.