Cyberbullies: The Schoolyard is Everywhere and Open 24/7

Post by Stephanie Raptis

Nothing I write here today will be news to you if you are on any form of social media. Bullies are no longer contained in the schoolyard. When we were kids, the school bell rang and we went home. Home was a safe place away from bullies, (unless you had an older sibling of course.) Now, the school bell rings, and a generation of children go home and turn on their computer or smart phone and the bullying continues. It is endless, and for many there is no escape.

Here are some disturbing statistics from


Sadly, it is not only children and teens who are victims of cyberbullying tactics. Adults are victims as well. People cannot seem to debate any topic respectfully anymore.

I am a member of multiple Facebook Groups and I am an admin on a few of them. I do not tolerate any bullying tactics on the pages I admin, but all admins are not as hands on. Everyone is tough behind the keyboard, aren’t they? It is so easy to force your opinion down someone’s throat if they are not standing in front of you. You may type away, uninterrupted, and be as nasty as you want to be. Many admins on these pages do get involved and try to diffuse situations. More often than not, the anger is then directed at the admin for trying to ‘censor’ the bully.

The Cyberbullying Research Center ( has some great advice for adult victims of this behavior.

“We get a lot of emails, phone calls, and comments on this blog from adults who are being bullied though technology. They stress to us that cyberbullying is not just an adolescent problem. Believe me, we know. We receive more inquiries from adults than teens. We know that cyberbullying negatively affects adults too. It’s just that we spend the majority of our efforts studying how this problem impacts school-aged youth due to their tenuous developmental stage. That said, I thought I would take some time here to give the adults who have been victimized out there some general advice. First, it is important to keep all evidence of the bullying: messages, posts, comments, etc. If there are ways you can determine who exactly is making the comments, also document that. Second, contact the service or content provider through which the bullying is occurring. For example, if you are being cyberbullied on Facebook, contact them. If you are receiving hurtful or threatening cell phone messages, contact your cell phone company to obtain assistance. Along those same lines, familiarize yourself with the Terms of Use for the various sites you frequent, and the online accounts you sign up for. Many web sites expressly prohibit harassment and if you report it through their established mechanisms, the content and/or bully should be removed from the site in a timely manner. To be sure, some web site administrators are better and quicker at this than others.

Also, please be careful not to retaliate – or do anything that might be perceived by an outsider to have contributed to the problem. Do not respond to the cyberbully except to calmly tell them to stop. If they refuse, you may have to take additional actions. If you are ever afraid for your safety, you need to contact law enforcement to investigate. They can determine whether any threats made are credible. If they are, the police will formally look into it. The evidence that you have collected will help them to evaluate your situation.”

A friend of mine had this to say about Facebook Group Pages, “When you are on someone else’s page it’s like being a guest in their home. Just because you have the right to act like a boor at a dinner party, would you? It’s not censorship, it’s manners.” Perhaps we can all keep this in mind as we navigate the world of social media.

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