Teen Thinking on Cyberbullying: 'It Can't Happen to Me'
A study reveals that most teens believe they won't be victims of cyberbullying — it's something that happens to other people.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
When we're young, we see bad things happen — on the news and in our own lives — but for some reason we believe that we are immune to such tragedy. So, it's no surprise that teens believe that when it comes to cyberbullying, they think others are more at risk than they are.
Lucy Betts and Sondos Metwally from Nottingham Trent University headed up a study that measured how vulnerable young people felt they were to cyberbullying, compared to their peers and others. The researchers distributed a survey to a total of 63 females and 46 males between the ages of 16 and 18 years.
The teens indicated that they felt they were less at risk of being cyberbullied than their friends, other students their age, younger students, and strangers. Indeed, as with most perceptions at this age, Betts observes that youngsters have an “unrealistic perception of invulnerability,” which “appears to lead many to think it is something that happens to other people.”
"Our findings suggest that whilst young people are aware of the potential risks associated with cyberbullying, they believe that they are less likely to experience cyberbullying than their peers.”
This study does contradict somewhat with the “reported high prevalence rates of cyberbullying in some studies (ranging from 7 to 70 percent).” What's more, in my own observations, cyberbullying has been a topic of conversation with my younger cousins — something that they seem well-aware of — however, they talk about it as if it's something that happens in a far-off land.
Betts continues, saying that “it may be necessary to implement more measures so that whilst continuing to raise young people's awareness of the risks we also ensure they fully understand that this could actually happen to them."
Recent studies have indicated that people behind these anti-bullying campaigns need to start focusing on how they package their message — one that will reap real results. Just bull-horning a slogan and raising awareness won't make an impact unless it has an effective message — know your audience.
Read more at EurekAlert!
Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law at Harvard Law School; he has a good sense of the online community, saying that for one side — the trolls — it's a game and the other side is just a group of people trying to make other's care about their issue:
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.
Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!
And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"
All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!
If you want to be a better and more passionate communicator, these tips are important.
If you identify as being a socially conscious person in today's age of outrage, you've likely experienced the bewildering sensation when a conversation that was once harmless, suddenly doesn't feel that way anymore. Perhaps you're out for a quick bite with family, friends, or coworkers when the conversation takes a turn. Someone's said something that doesn't sit right with you, and you're unsure of how to respond. Navigating social situations like this is inherently stressful.
Below are five expert-approved tips on how to maintain your cool and effectively communicate.
Calling all big thinkers!
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.