6 Ways Students Use Technology to Bully Others
Unfortunately, sometimes the harms of technology surpass its benefits. You'd be surprised by how innovative children get when it comes to abusing it as a tool for bullying. Today, online bullying and harassment are taking different forms, and the definition of cyberbullying has expanded to encompass so many activities.
If you aren’t familiar with the common techniques of bullying and harassment young people employ online, here are 6 ways students use technology to bully others.
Cyberbaiting involves taunting teachers until they break down, where students seize the opportunity to screenshot/record their teacher's reaction and then proceed to make it go viral online. Sadly, every one in five teachers worldwide has fallen prey to cyberbullying and have even lost their teaching careers because of such videos.
2. Happy Slapping
Although not “happy” at all, this type of cyberbullying involves students, teens, or children enacting a bullying incident and taping it as it happens.
As its name implies, the incident involves slapping, kicking, hitting, and punching another student by one or more kids. Following that, the recording is posted on YouTube and shared through emails to make it a trend and humiliate the victim.
Referring to SWAT teams, SWAT-ing involves tricking emergency service providers into sending off a response team. Typically, kids use digital services like Spoofcard, for example, to conceal the caller's location, alter their voices, and even create fake background sound effects. Mostly, kids SWAT celebrities, peers, teachers, and bullying advocates at large.
Dubbed after the suicide of teen Amanda Todd from Canada, the term todding came about by bullies in Todd's life who posted offensive, hurtful messages on her Facebook account.
In essence, todding is when people who commit suicide due to bullying are bullied even further while they're dead, where bullies keep posting abusive messages instead of feeling empathetic.
5. Teen Shaming
One of the most common bullying and teen shaming methods is when children take other people's photos from their social media accounts and start resharing them with negative comments that shame the person involved. It could be for weight, color, height, appearance, clothes, or anything for that matter.
While this type of bullying is most common among girls, there still isn't a rule, and it can happen to just about anyone.
6. Speed Pimping
Speed pimping, or speed camera pimping, involves teen drivers striving to dodge and deceit speed cameras by designing fake license plates on glossy papers for their cars replicating their teachers' or peers.' Accordingly, the plates are traced back to other people, and they're cited for it.
Measures to Prevent Bullying in Schools
With such techniques of harassment becoming prevalent among children and teens, here are some ways cyberbullying can be prevented in schools.
Establish a Culture of Speaking Up
The most important measure you could take is to provide a safe space for students where they're encouraged to speak up about their bullying experiences. Each student must understand that they shouldn't stay silent about bullying and be confident that their teachers or parents can take immediate action once they're informed about the incident.
Implement a School-Wide Instruction
Time and time again, research has shown that bullying prevention programs on a whole-school level can be the most effective when combating bullying among children and teens.
In addition to helping administrators and teachers evaluate interventions, these programs keep the entire school community engaged in the process of preventing bullying, fostering an overall positive school culture that doesn’t tolerate bullying in any form.
And in the process, programs like these provide a tailored learning experience for students of all ages to educate them on positive social engagement, how to confront bullying behavior, and techniques for defusing situations instead of resorting to bullying.
Establish a Cyberbullying Policy
If you don't have a cyberbullying policy in place, draft one, and set it in motion. Within the policy, ensure that it clearly specifies safe contacts for children to get in touch with for case reporting, clearly define what cyberbullying entails, and be concise about the implications of bullying.
Also, pay special attention to anonymity and confidentiality to encourage students to report cases when they either experience cyberbullying or witness it. If they aren't guaranteed anonymity, they may shy away.
Unfortunately, technology remains a double-edged sword. Its drawbacks are quite harsh since it has somehow facilitated cyberbullying in the process of keeping everyone connected all the time.
The ways students use technology to bully others have devastating impacts on the victims of bullying, which is why anti-bullying efforts aimed at educating students on cyberbullying, how to avoid it, and the importance of being compassionate and empathetic are vital while students are at a young age.