What is a Cyberbully ?
You may ask yourself what is a cyberbully and how are they different from regular bullies? There are different types of cyberbullies and different ways to handle them. A cyberbully is different from the traditional bully at school. A cyberbully can harass, tease and humiliate another while remaining completely anonymous hiding behind the mask of a computer. Often times a cyberbully does not have the ability to bully his/her victim face to face. Anonymity gives the cyberbully a sense of power, courage and strength.
Very often a cyberbully is simply the victim of another cyberbully. When you defend yourself from a cyberbully by answering a hurtful message with another hurtful message, you become the cyberbully yourself. You may not consider yourself a cyberbully, however when you take a closer look, you actually may be.
Here we address four different types of cyberbullies.
1. The Revenge Seeker
2. The Popularity Digger
3. The Bored Bully
4. The Accidental Bully
The Revenge Seeker
Funny enough, the revenge seeker does not see himself/herself as a bully at all. Sometimes a child seeks revenge after being harassed or embarrassed by a cyberbully. Acting out in revenge only turns the child into a cyberbully himself/herself. This bully is a do-gooder trying to take justice in his/her own hands by reacting negatively to a situation. The "revenge seeker" believes that two wrongs make a right.
The Popularity Digger
This type of cyberbully may be lacking popularity at school, is sometimes smaller than the other kids or is picked on for being un-cool. The popularity digger searches for acceptance and popularity by manipulating others online in his or her favor.
The Bored Bully
This type of cyberbully is bored and looking for some entertainment. The bored bully is usually female and works in groups bullying other girls. The group may work online together virtually or be in one room all together. This cyberbully seeks an audience as well as a reaction from the victim. If she/he does not get a reaction, she/he is likely to give up on her practices.
The Accidental Bully
The accidental bully also does not see himself/herself as a bully at all. This type of bully may forward a joke, chain mail, or other negative email to a friend just jokingly. However, the recipient may be offended and not get the joke. There is no planning with the accidental cyberbully who reacts spontaneously without thinking very much about the consequences of his/her actions.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no intonation, tone or emotion in emails or text messages. In text messages there is no body language, eye contact, or tone of voice to help us decipher the true meaning. Often times messages become misinterpreted and feelings are hurt.
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