Digital citizenship is an important subject that I believe people too often brush under the rug.  Social media can be dangerous.  There are so many predators online that are lurking behind lies.  In today’s world, I believe that we not only need to inform students of the dangers, but also be sure to practice what we preach.

I look at digital citizenship as being social media etiquette.  This includes all forms of technology.  A person can suffer in many different ways from being improper or improperly treated on the internet.  For example, if a person is to post a racy photograph, many people will see it, and it can happen upon a boss or future boss.  This automatically can change a person’s mindset of another.  Using the internet in the wrong way can also cause cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying in itself is harmful.  There are many cases of cyberbullying that go unknown.  I read a wonderful article pertaining to cyberbullying, and how to help prevent it.  7 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying. A lot in this article sounded as if it would be helpful, but one piece that hit home to me was when the author suggested to restore the “victims” self-respect. Amen to that.  I have seen first hand these horrible things that can happen and what is unsettling is thinking of what is going on in the “victims” mind behind closed doors. It is a natural defensive move to close off and act as if we feel fine.  In truth, it is a dark and lonely world when you lose self-respect.  No person, young or old, should go through that.  Especially not alone.  If we can help these people cope with their problem and reattach their self-esteem, they will naturally gain self-respect for themselves.  It is a long process, and I believe that many people understand the concept of restoring self-respect, but what many don’t understand is that it takes time.  It is a waiting game, a patience-tester.  Be patient, be kind, be positive, be loving. It is much harder to hate yourself if you are so loved. Cyberbullying is not above or below any other form of bullying.  It is equally as hard. Many people assume that it is the victims’ fault for endulging in social media that they know is untrustworthy.  But the truth is, people can be conniving. A person can post a picture of a puppy (all puppies are cute.) and yet somewhere, somebody is thinking a negative thought about that specific picture.  One negative thought and one tiny action is all it takes for cyberbullying to begin.


8 thoughts on “Digital Citizenship: The Dangers of Cyberbullying

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. I agree 100% that we should all follow some sort of internet etiquette. It is funny that I read this post, because I just went on a huge rant about cyber bullying on a popular Facebook page where people can confess things or rant anonymously. I feel that it is all just a huge place to cyber bully others, and it really disgusts me that these are adults doing this. I feel many people suddenly become invincible behind a keyboard and say things they’d never say out loud or to someones face. They simply do not think of the consequences. I love how you pointed out that we need to think about how the victims are really feeling and how they recover. It is easy to smile in front of everybody and act fine, but I’m sure deep down there is a ton of damage done to their self esteem! It will be interesting to see the changes over the years to prevent cyber bullying!


  2. This is a great post. I too think that there are so many cases of cyberbullying that go unaddressed. I think it is important to teach students how harmful our words can be online and off. I did a great object lesson with 8-12 year old girls where they would squirt out toothpaste when they said something that was unkind or rude and then they were given the challenge of taking it back. (putting the toothpaste back in the tube) They discovered it was nearly impossible and that it made a very big mess! Our words can often get us into a messy situation.


  3. I really like the image you’ve included with this post. The THINK acronym is a handy way to teach our students to reflect just a bit before they post something in those spaces. We’d probably all do well to follow it!


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