Cyber-Bullying

Posted on: October 24th, 2012

Those awkward teenage years can be difficult for even the most popular kids in class. Many parents are familiar with general bullying, but not with the social harassment and threats that occur online. In fact, 77 percent of students have admitted to being the victim of one type of bullying and over 25 percent have been bullied through the use of electronic devices and the Internet. Cyber-bullying has become a common term, and it refers to the use of technology to emotionally and verbally abuse someone, commonly occurring among young people.

A study performed by Wales University showed victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. 9 out of 10 students who fall into the gay, bisexual, lesbian ,or transgendered identity groups have reported being bullied at school within the past year because of their sexual orientation. Of the students who did report a harassment or bullying situation because of their sexuality, about one third of the school staff didn’t do anything to resolve the issue. Cyber-bullying can often happen without ever being discovered by parents or teachers. There are warning signs:

  1. Spending more time online than normal
  2. Quickly closing browser pages to hide the content when a parent or anyone approaches
  3. Deleting browsing history or phone messages
  4. School grades begin dropping although they’ve never had a history of poor grades
  5. Change in eating or sleeping habits
  6. Becoming less social and avoiding friends

You are not alone: Organizations have been developed to help teens and young adults who face bullying. Appleton Creative created a campaign for our client the Zebra Coalition after they formed an anti-bullying partnership with Orange County public schools. Their mission is “to foster hope, dignity and self-respect in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth and to provide them an opportunity to grow-up in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.”

Positive, successful advertising campaigns just like this have been created to help individuals cope with social pressures and put an end to bullying. The Ellen DeGeneres Show’sUnited Against Bullying’ campaign utilizes social media to host videos and celebrity commentary encouraging viewers to stand up against bullying and sign petitions to create further awareness in schools.

If someone is being bullied quick communication and confrontation of the problem by a parent, guardian, teacher, or adult figure could cease the attacks and prevent future ones. Cyber-bullying can leave someone feeling alone and rejected, creating suicidal thoughts. There are free suicide hotlines, such as 1-800-273-TALK (8255) that should be called immediately. Individuals can also contact shelters or coalitions like the ones mentioned above for support and counseling.

Want to utilize social media as a positive marketing tool? Appleton Creative is a award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through printwebsocial media and video production – all in house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.

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