(NOTE: This article includes helpful advice from my friend and colleague, Nancy Willard. — Mike Tully)
Kids have been bullying each other for generations. With the introduction of technology, however, the current generation of teenagers has the ability to expand the reach and extent of their harm. This phenomenon is being called cyberbullying, which has been defined as willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of communication technologies including text messages, instant messaging, social media, video uploading sites, and even video games. As with traditional bullying, parents and educators are now faced with a new and pressing issue: how to prevent cyberbullying and teach kids to be kind to each other online instead.
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 25 percent of teens admit that they have been cyberbullied at some point in their lifetimes. About 17 percent admitted to cyberbullying others. As for middle-school students, 12 percent admitted they had been cyberbullied, while 4 percent said they had cyberbullied others within the previous 30 days.