Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Social Media Usage and Cyberbullying

At a young age, children are first taught simple ethics such as ” take turns, share, be kind, be honest, and help others.” As these kids grow up and go to school, they learn even more ethics like ” show respect, keep your hands to yourself, be ready to learn, and work well with others.” Then, when children start using social media, we must also start teaching them important ethics when using technology.

Technology Issues Students Might Face (Moral, Ethical, And Legal)

There are plenty of types of technology issues that young people might face. Henderson, Auld & Johnson, explain that issues such as cyberbullying, confidentiality, consent, boundaries, and responsibility are just a few ethical issues students need to learn before and while they use technology. I want to talk about the social media aspect with a focus on cyberbullying because I have had to resolve some conflicts related to this topic.

Cyberbullying

With social media comes adults and children who believe they can hide behind a computer screen. Ah, yes. It is much easier to bully virtually and it is much easier to hide who you are. We all know bullying usually happens when the bully feels threatened and it is no different online. Of course, some people will cyberbully anonymously just because they can. Cyberbullying can cause just as much, or even more damage to the person as if they were being bullied in person.

Swanson Lepper and Kerby explain in their study that most people define cyberbullying as ” willfully and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cellphones, and other electronic devices”.

There are many types of cyberbullying. Here are a few that caught my eye from Securly:

  • Exclusion
  • Harassment
  • Sharing private information without consent
  • Trickery
  • Flaming (sending direct insults/threats)
  • Trolling (inflammatory comments)
  • Dissing/spreading rumours

How do we teach students about cyberbullying?

Shristy shared a great article from study.com that included this quote that sums up how the education system is dealing with teaching digital citizenship to children ” Our society has imposed guidelines for things children cannot do (for example we drive after age 16, vote at 18, and drink at 21) because children are not emotionally developed for these activities. However, in our attempt to educate children to become computer literate, we push them into cyberspace without guidance.” Using technology and social media needs to be taught to children, just like every other ethic they learn throughout their childhood and teen years.

As educators, we need to take our time to build lesson plans and activities about cyberbullying while we are teaching about digital citizenship. Even if we don’t have much time and it’s not very clearly shown in the curriculum, someone needs to make sure our kids are safe online! I believe one of the first key points we teach kids about being digitally literate has to do with cyberbullying. This past year, I have taught my students tobe kind online. I have also made sure that they tell an adult as soon as they can when they think they are being bullied online (and to take screenshots as well!)

Technology Issues Teachers Might Face With Social Media Usage

I wanted to briefly touch on the subject of teachers using social media because one of my students found my Tik Tok account this week. My student informed me that they found it through my Twitter ( I have only tweeted about my Tik Tok once, about 2 months ago). I knew they would find it sometime, but this goes to show just how safe and cautious teachers need to be online.

I have to admit I am still a bit worried about posting on my Twitter account due to the repercussions it could have on my career. I know that I would never post anything to upset anyone, but there’s always that small voice in the back of my mind telling me that someone will get upset about a retweeted article or that they will take my tweet the wrong way. It took a lot for me to make Tik Toks and tweet the amount that I do. (Those first few steps can be hard). However, I know how important it is to take a stand, be an activist, and encourage my students to do the same.

Have you dealt with cyberbullying in your class? Are you more of a discreet teacher online?

Advertisement

4 thoughts on “Social Media Usage and Cyberbullying

  1. Online keyboard warriors is a tough battle for anyone to deal with but when it happens to children it makes it even harder to catch; it can be so silent and isolating. I have to say this passed semester I have really enjoyed teaching my students about digital citizenship and about cyberbullying. I know that I am just dabbling with it in my classroom thus far and I am doing a mini unit of cyber safety but my students are soaking in the knowledge and I hear them talk about the “cyber bullies” how many they reported on the “Be Internet Awesome”, how to create good passwords, etc. It is truly something to witness occuring right in front of me. I am able to fit it into my health curriculum so I feel I am not adding to my plate but yet enhancing my current practice and delivery. My pedagogy has really changed with this class and I am excited to really get to applying this knowledge with my students and my SCC (which I get to do next month).

    Like

  2. You are right. It’s easier to hide the information when some bullies online but it may leave an impact for lifetime on the person who got cyber bullied. As a teacher if you find that any child is suffering from cyberbullying or cyber harassments, take a quick action and also guide how they can keep them safe. As Instagram and snapchat allows to create an account when a child is 13 or above years of age. I think this is the age when child can make most of the mistakes of his life. Its better to guide them early.

    Like

  3. This is a course I wish the university would come up with, and all potential middle years and high school teachers should have to take it. It is something that happens regularly in the classroom, mostly outside of school hours but still falls on our plates. Helping potential teachers equip themselves to deal with these issues and be proactive about prevention, etc. would be so darn helpful. I always tell my kiddos that when I went to school it was a lot harder to bully someone because you had to say it to their face, etc., and couldn’t hide behind a screen where you don’t have to really face that person. It’s definitely a lot trickier to grow up with all of the pressures of online nowadays.

    Like

  4. “Cyberbullying can cause just as much, or even more damage to the person as if they were being bullied in person.” I agree with this statement Megan, people think bullying anonymously is not harsh on others but the reality is it is harsh… Cyberbullying is such a disturbing attribute of this digital world… I believe not only teachers but parents/guardians must also try to create awareness about this. We should just try to create a comfortable environment in which kids can share the problems they are facing in their lives.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: