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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Unfortunately, bullying behavior is a problematic behavior in our society and proliferant in many different settings, including schools, within home environments, college campuses, and even online.
Cyber bullying has heightened in recent years with the increased use of online resources and social media platforms.
Statistics have demonstrated that over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, with over 25 percent of adolescents and teens being bullied repeatedly through their cell phones and/or the Internet .
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying can be traumatic and result in devastating consequences. Many individuals may not necessarily understand if and when they are being bullied online or may minimize the behaviors since it is not the “typical” form of bullying that is often observed. Because of the changing manner in which we interact with one another as a society, cyberbullying is becoming more common and is not something that should be ignored.
Forms of cyber bullying may include the following:
- Spreading rumors online, through texts or social media platforms
- Posting threatening messages or hurtful comments on social media networks
- Purposefully sharing unflattering images or a person through social platforms, text, or the Internet
- Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures about a person
- Hacking into another person’s account to purposefully disrupt or damage one’s identity or relationships with others.
How to Handle Cyber Bullies
Just because a person is bullying someone online versus face to face does not make it any less of a threat. If you have found yourself in a position where you are the victim of cyber bullying, it is important to take immediate action. If you are a teen or adolescent, please report any incidents of cyber bullying to an adult or talk with someone you trust. As a parent, have open discussions with your children about what cyber bullying is, encouraging communication about any such behaviors that may be observed.
Other ways to help deal with cyber bullying is “blocking” a person, changing a phone number and/or email address. In cases where cyber bullying continues to occur, contact police and involve law enforcement. If cyber bullying is something that has been occurring, it is also important to consider seeking out help to process any damaging effects that may have occurred. If you have been a victim of cyber bullying, know that there is help available for you and that you are not at fault.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What do you think are effective ways for dealing with cyber bullying?
About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.
References:: Bullying Statistics, http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 16, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com