Monday, May 16, 2011

Cyberbullying, Part One

Back then, we just had to worry about bullying.
Now it’s cyberbullying.
Since I spend a good deal of my time on the Internet, I’ve seen quite a bit of cyberbullying, so I know about what I’m talking. I’ve seen it, stopped it, been victimized by it, and even caused it unintentionally.
So here’s part one of my Cyberbullying Special.
How do you know when someone is being cyerbullied?
Most of the symptoms are the same for actual bullying—like being depressed, angry, and withdrawn and not talking to friends or family. Similarly, the bullied victim may have a drop in grades—I know I would—and will likely refuse to go to school, especially if the cyberbullies are people they know from school.
A big one is pretending to be sick. Granted, the person might just want to skip school. But if the victim always claims s/he is ill, there’s a chance s/he is being bullied.
And, of course, there’s the cyber part.
The victim probably becomes upset, enraged, or simply depressed while surfing the Internet or talking on a cell phone. Or maybe even afterwards. Either way, the person has mood swings that correspond to cyber-use.
Take it from me.
This concludes part one. Stay tuned . . .
~Nicole Izmaylov


  1. Cyber bullies can be horrible. I couldn't imagine going to school when this stuff was going on. Things just don't go away, and a lot of what children think when they are younger is due to circumstance and a bad interpretation. Kids are cruel and horrible to one another. I've been through the whole being bullied thing. The last thing I wanted was pictures of my beat-up face on the internet. Imagine the kid with the weight problem trying to swim, only to get pictures posted.

    Makes you think twice about picking up a gossip magazine and reading into people's lives. It is similar in some ways.

    I hope my kids never get on facebook,

    Good post.

  2. Great post, Nicole. I'm so glad the public are finally becoming aware of the dangers of bullying (both cyber and otherwise). When I was younger, I suffered from bullying at school, and no one really seemed to care. My teachers and administrators turned a blind eye, and some even seemed to encourage or condone it.

    Btw, your banner seems to be partially obscuring the comment above.

  3. This is a so timely. Thanks for posting it. In my 3rd book I address this very issue.

  4. I grew up in the 60's & 70's when it was just bullying; I was a kid being raised by a single Aunt on Welfare; one of those unforgiveable things in that age; it was " Hell, persecution, & torture" all rolled up together; yet I survived, & am stronger for it.

    I look at the kids who've buckled under the stress & started shooting guns. What ultimately hacks me off is that these kids are the ones demonized, & the ones who were probably the antagonist end up looking like the victims... (News story- "Said Shooter complained of being bullied." > They aknowledge it; but it never goes beyond aknowledgement<)

    As Marjorie says; it always seemed the Administration & teachers turned a blind eye, & it's usually because the tormentors are from the richer kids, & the victims are among the poor kids.

  5. It's an issue I see come up online a lot . . . but I think bullying is also a huge problem in schools. Even in my school, the signs are everywhere. Tragic, but true.

  6. The old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!" is wrong! And it's an example of how un-evolved society looks at the problem. Words can do damage that is pernicious and cumulative. Most of us have experienced bulling -- at home, school, playground, etc. If we grew up in a dysfunctional home we probably didn't learn we have value -- just because we are sucking air! When kids hear at home "be quiet," "kids are to be seen and not heard," "can't you do anything right?" then go to school and get bullied, the self loathing grows. They will become the bully (the best defense, is to be offensive), or snap and take out themselves and others.
    I believe we are evolving as humans and bullying will not be tolerated. What can we do? As Gandhi said, "Become the change you wish to see in the world" If you see someone being bullied go to their aide, or at least after the fact, ask if they are OK. Telling a bully to stop can be dangerous -- I got a broken jaw once. If it's a friend, and it's safe, tell them it's not OK to pick on others. Cyber bullying is the easiest to respond to. Post a response that the "bully" note was not OK. Let's all learn tolerance of others, even if we don't agree with them. Blessings...