Cyberbullying in the Millennial Era: Know the Signs of Cyberbullying

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As many parents and teachers know, cyberbullying has become one of the most common forms of harassment a child will experience. In this day and age of easily-accessible technology and ubiquitous social media sharing, it’s important for adults to recognize the signs of cyberbullying, so that they may more readily protect their children or students from it in the future.

Cyberbullying, as you may have learned from a previous blog article from our series on the phenomenon, is defined by the experts at[1] as “when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.”

What’s most troubling about cyberbullying is its sheer prevalence in today’s young society – according to[2], more than half of adolescents have been bullied online, and about the same amount have engaged in the activity itself. The average cyberbully is also persistent and unrelenting, as more than 25 percent of teens have experienced cyber threats repeatedly through their cell phones or over the internet. What’s more, evidence of cyberbullying is easier to hide, and victims are unlikely to reach out to trusted adults for support – well over half do not tell their parents it has even occurred.[3]

Due to its anonymity and obscurity, as well as its growing number of potential technological outlets, cyberbullying can go undetected for a long time. But there are subtle signs that your child or student is experiencing cyberbullying, expressed both in school and at home. According to the National Crime Prevention Council[4], here are a few behaviors that may indicate your child is being cyberbullied:

In School At Home
  • • Gets into trouble at school
  • • Shows unease at leaving for school or skips classes entirely
  • • Loses interest in academic or extracurricular performance
  • • Sudden drops in grades
  • • An abrupt changes in friends
  • • Suddenly stops using the computer or mobile devices
  • • No longer wants to participate in activities once enjoyed
  • • Becomes withdrawn or shy
  • • Shows signs of depression
  • • Changes eating or sleeping habits[3]


According to the experts at the NCPC[5], the most telling sign is a child’s sudden withdrawal from technology, whether it be from their cell phone or computer. If you’ve noticed this or any other signs of cyberbullying in your child, it may be time to reach out to them and express your concern. While you may not be able to prevent cyberbullying altogether, you can help limit your child’s exposure to it and provide the emotional support they may need to recuperate from its effects on their self-esteem.

Educators and school administrators can also help in the war on cyberbullying – to learn about potential policies and other actions teachers may want to take to prevent cyberbullying in schools, check out the next blog article in our Cyberbullying in the Millennial Era series.

[1] “What is Cyberbullying, Exactly?” Retrieved from on March 14, 2016.

[2] Retrieved from on March 14, 2016.

[3] “Cyber Bullying Statistics.” Retrieved from on March 14, 2016.

[4] “Cyberbullying: Spotting the Signs.” National Crime Prevention Council. Retrieved from on March 14, 2016.

[5] “Cyberbullying: Spotting the Signs.” National Crime Prevention Council. Retrieved from on March 14, 2016.

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