Teens Tell Us How They Are Stopping Cyberbullying

New survey helps explain strategies students use to cope with online bullies.

Posted Dec 13, 2017

Cyberbullying Research Center
Source: Cyberbullying Research Center

It never gets easier to read yet it's becoming more frequent. Young people taking their life from bullycide, youth pleading with their peers to stop the taunting and parents becoming anti-bullying advocates when their child comes home after being victimized.

We can't allow these headlines to go in vain and all of them are opportunities to open dialogue with not only your children, but with your schools and communities. 

Finding answers

Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC), a leading organization regarding online bullying, recently surveyed middle and high school students from around the United States. Of the approximately 5700 students, about one-third of them had been cyberbullied in their lifetime and some shared how they dealt with online harassment.

Overwhelmingly, according to this survey, blocking was the most successful way of stopping a bully. 

 A 16-year-old girl from Ohio said: “I was able to stop it by blocking the person. They then opened another account and left mean comments. I threatened to report them to Twitter and they stopped. I guess they were worried about getting banned from Twitter so they stopped.”

Ignoring the cyber-pest (bully) was the next approach teen's found useful when dealing with online bullying. 

A 15-year-old boy from Virginia told CRC: “For the most part bullies feed off a person’s reaction – so one of the best ways to get it to stop is to ignore, but you should always tell someone (parents or friends) just so someone else knows what might be going on.”

CRC survey revealed that about half of the students that had been cyberbullied reported their experience to their parent(s). Getting parents involved is a major step in the right direction especially since some teens fear they will be blamed or their devices will be removed.

A 13-year-old boy from Louisiana said: “Telling mom and dad was the most important decision I made. Trying to hold it in or ignore it was not working and only made me feel worse.”

A 12-year-old boy from Colorado expressed how his parents helped him realize that the bullying wasn’t about him: “My mom and dad just talked to me about how people that do that sort of thing have bigger issues and they are just trying to hurt you to make themselves feel better. It helped me learn to look past the hurtful things people say and do.”

Could a little digital detox help curb cyberbullying? CRC survey said that many students told them that taking a temporary break from technology or shutting down their account helped to fend off the online bullying.

A 16-year-old boy from California said “I would log off for a while, and I would change my username or email, and that seemed to work the best.”

Another common technique, that everyone should use is reporting abusive content to the social platform. As students realize, a person's online life is as real and as important as their offline one. No one wants to be alienated from a social platform, especially due to stupid behavior.

A 16-year-old boy from New York said: “Blocking the person and reporting them for abuse to the site usually works. Social networking is their life and if they are blocked, muted, or banned it will solve the problem online but might also cause more real life problems.”

As CRC shares teens have become very resourceful and resilient. Read the full survey for more information on their findings.