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Adult Cyberbullying

Updated on November 24, 2017

Cyberbullying

Teenagers and youth are not the only ones being bullied in cyberspace. Unfortunately, adults are victims of this behavior as well. Cyberbullying is the use of digital technology to harass, threaten or embarrass another.

Cyberbullying

Source

Cyberbullying Video

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of information technology including; e-mail, instant messages, text messaging, chat rooms, social media, forums, and other technology interfacing to deliberately hurt, taunt, ridicule, threaten or intimidate someone. Social media enables bully behaviors because the Internet provides the perfect atmosphere for cyberbullies to gain gratification from the distress of others due to provoking and tormenting.

According to the American Counseling Association 40% of cyberbullies engage in online aggression just for fun.


Cyberbullying Definition

Using digital technology:

  • Humiliate
  • Intimidate
  • Abuse
  • Stalk
  • Trick
  • Impersonate
  • Threaten
  • Demean
  • Exclude
  • Embarrass
  • Harass

What about you?

As an adult have you been a victim of cyberbullying?

See results

Who are Adult Cyberbullies?

Unlike traditional bullies, cyberbullies have anonymity. Being masked behind a computer screen or online account enables some attention seeking adults a false sense of authority and righteousness. Most adult cyberbullies gain some sort of gratification from seeing others distraught, hurt and responding to their accusations. More than anything else they want attention. It doesn't matter what type of attention they get, positive or negative, as long as they can provoke someone into paying them attention.

According to Bully Online bullies are:

  • Arrogant
  • Emotionally immature
  • Shallow and superficial with plenty of fine words but there's no substance
  • Escapes accountability
  • Aggressive
  • Highly manipulative
  • Vindictive
  • Superior sense of entitlement
  • Dysfunctional
  • Mean-spirited
  • Holds deep prejudices
  • Incapable of initiating or sustaining intimacy
  • Not your friend
  • Refuses to be specific and never gives a straight answer
  • Coward
  • Quick to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit anyone who calls, attempts to call, or might call the bully to account

The goal of a cyberbully is to gain power, control, and create chaos.

Source

Consequences of Cyberbullying

Victims of cyberbullying experience:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Anger
  • Violence
  • Suicide
  • Hostility

How to Stop Cyberbullies

Are You at Risk for Cyberbullying?

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How to Stop Cyberbullying Tips

  1. Minimize your response- if you can minimize your responses or do not respond at all, you will not encourage the bully. The more you try to explain the more gratification they obtain. Your increasingly desperate attempts to clarify yourself and communicate with a bully is exactly what they want.
  2. You do not need the last word- bullies like to have the last word. You can go back and forth trying to clear up your name over and over again. However, conversing with a bully keeps the bully engaged with you and what you are saying. Bullies, most often, need to have the last word. Say your peace concisely, and leave it be.
  3. Block the person- you can block incoming messages from bullies on your phone or other social media by using their phone number, username, e-mail address or IP.
  4. Deactivate- if necessary temporarily deactivate your phone number, email, social media profiles to stop the bullying. You can recreate a new number, email and social media account and be selective of who you share your information with.
  5. Document- take a screen shot of the bullying, keep records of emails, text messages and the like.
  6. Report- the bullying to the server provider or the administrators. Cyberbullying is not tolerated on most websites and messaging services. Cyberbullying is also illegal in some states.

Source

How to Deal with Cyberbullying

  1. Know cyberbullies engagement in this behavior with you, has very little or nothing to do with you and everything to do with their issues.
  2. Understand that it is not possible to communicate in a mature adult manner with a distorted individual who is a cyberbully.
  3. Do not believe the cyberbully. Their view of you is not correct and reflects them, not you.
  4. Close your computer and do something else for a while- make art, drink herbal tea, take a walk and enjoy yourself.
  5. Take action. Empower yourself and take action by blocking and reporting the bully.
  6. Call a close friend. Let a good friend remind you how awesome you really are.

If You Can't Say Something Nice....

The Golden Rule

"If you can't say something nice... Don't say nothing at all."

We all can be part of the solution to cyberbullying. First and foremost watch out for each other. Do not engage in any form of verbally attack. If you have an argument or a disagreement with someone online do it in a manner with respect and dignity.

If you see someone being a victim of cyberbullying, do something.

Here are some things you can do when you see someone else being cyberbullied:

1. At the very least, post something positive for the person. Although, most people will ruminate about the negative comments, having at least someone say something positive helps balance out the negative.

2. Tell the person they are being cyberbullied. Some people are not aware what is cyberbullying and they are a victim of it, especially adults. Once they know what it is, they can begin to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.

3. Be a friend. Sometimes the person being cyberbullied just needs a friend. Someone to remind them they are not what the cyberbullied posted.

4. Inform. Inform the person being cyberbullied they have rights. If they are being cyberbullied on a forum, social media or online writing groups like Hubpages there are usually standards stating this type of behavior is not tolerated. Let the victim know of their rights and help them to take the steps to block the cyberbully and notify the administrators.

© Copyright Carly Sullens 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

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  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Grand Old Lady,

    I appreciate your comments. I too wish every grown up person in the world would read this and be aware of their actions on the Internet. Maybe adults are not always aware they are partaking in cyberbullying when in actuality they are.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Kiddiecreations, it is sad that this behavior perpetuates in adulthood. Sadly, it seems to be increasing and not decreasing. However, there are good people out there and good people who will stand up for one another. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

  • kiddiecreations profile image

    Nicole K 

    4 years ago

    I just saw someone cyber-bullying someone else recently on this website. It was very sad. I posted positive comments but I still felt bad for her. Thank you for this detailed description of what cyber bullying is and how to deal with it. It's a shame that we need these tools, but it's good to know someone is helping others that are faced with this situation to know what they can do. Thanks for your hub!

  • grand old lady profile image

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

    4 years ago from Philippines

    This is a comprehensive, well organized and easy-to-understand piece about cyberbullying. It is also very helpful and the advice on how to deal with cyberbullying is spot on. In fact, it's spot on in relation to bullying in general. I think this is a very relevant article today and every parent should read this because even if the parent has never been cyberbullied, the advice applies to their children, too. I wish every grown up person in the world would read this.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    merej99

    Love this comment- "BLOCK the blockhead." It is so hard to be a moderator. And adult cyberbullying can be really ugly.

  • merej99 profile image

    Meredith Loughran 

    4 years ago from Florida

    Great hub! When I was an online community moderator one of my main responsibilities was to put out "fires". They would goad, bully and harass to the point where other members would want to quit. They would even come after me but my attitude was * let it fall off your back - they don't know you well enough to make it personal (per se) * sit on your hands - never respond when you are feeling angry or emotional * try to diffuse the situation and if that doesn't work - BLOCK the blockhead.

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 

    4 years ago

    This is so worth the votes up +++, shared and tweet. We do so need to be careful with our words. And be sure we keep control of who we trust. A great read. Thank you for bringing attention to this important subject. Shalom

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it. Especially, because this is a subject most adults feel they suffer in alone. The truth is many of us have been victims of cyber bullying.

  • go-barbara-go profile image

    go-barbara-go 

    5 years ago

    It has stopped now. Thank you for this wonderful hub, I could have seek revenge through bullying her too, now that I have gotten over the feelings....but no, I won't bully anybody just because they are bullies. It will only add up to their growing number. By the way, when I shared this in my network, it got a lot of like and I know they've been clicking on your hub today.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Barbara, sorry to hear that you have been bullied. It is really degrading. I am glad you can laugh now at the comment. You are very beautiful. I hope the bullying has stoped with your boyfriend's new lover.

  • go-barbara-go profile image

    go-barbara-go 

    5 years ago

    Aleshia Clark was right. It happens in domestic violence situations too.

    I was bullied by my boyfriend's new lover.

    (so true, bullying is used in degrading former partners)

  • go-barbara-go profile image

    go-barbara-go 

    5 years ago

    Nice read! I remembered crying so hard when somebody bullied me saying " I look like a frog in social media" Lol! I realize how stupid of me to believe her that I look like a frog, when I do look like a tod. LOL!

    I'm sharing this with my network.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Carter06,

    Thank you for stopping by, commenting and sharing. I hope this hub does help others stand up to bullies.

  • carter06 profile image

    Mary 

    5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

    This is really great info Carly and many will be helped to stand up to cyber bullies..that's a powerful list of characteristics isn't it??..great job will post this up everywhere..cheers

  • janetwrites profile image

    Janet Giessl 

    5 years ago from Georgia country

    It's so horrible if people stalk and terrorize other people whether it be online or in real life. The world wide web has rather worsen this offense. Now anyone can terrorize you anonymously and it will not be easy to find out who is behind it. Thank you for sharing this great hub!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    You bring up a good point justateacher. Cyberbully's can be people we know just as well as a stranger. The people we know like an ex-husband can use cyberbullying aggressively towards their family member or friend.

  • justateacher profile image

    LaDena Campbell 

    5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

    This is great information, and as you said, people tend to forget that adults can be victims of cyberbullying, too. After I divorced my first husband, he was great at cyberbullying. I finally just blocked him and my life was so much better. After nearly eight years of not talking at all, we recently met at our granddaughter's birthday party. I was sad to see that he hasn't changed much - but was glad to see that he could be nice for our granddaughter...

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Tilsonitian, Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    You are right, cyberbullying is just not for kids. In my research I was shocked of how much cyberbullying is described as a teen and kid problem but rarely addressed for adults. I was shocked because I see it all the time with adults. It is sad that behind the computer adults say and do horrendous things to each other.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    pinto2011, It is important to learn how to stop bully's. Sadly, most people do not know how to stop it, until they are in it for the first time. I remember when I was first cyberbullied, I didn't know what to do or how to react. It took a learning curve, but now I will not put up with it anymore.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Cloudexplorer, Thank you my friend for stopping by and telling of your personal experience of cyberbullying and how you dealt with it. I particularly liked this quote:

    "I also sense that such individuals crave attention, the desire to be overly controlling as though they are rulers of someone and literally everyone in their midst. This is what I call the digital God Complex, and I may also write about that someday, because its so sad that a person hiding behind a machine, may have earned some puny accolades both in life and online, but feels they have the right to set ablaze someone elses digital career in the making, due to being jealous, envious, or hateful. It's just nonsense, its unfair, and its unsportsman like conduct."

    The narcissistic complex people get online do become like wild fire when they become a cyberbully and believe it is in their right to do whatever they like to whomever just because they feel they know more, or have written more, etc. etc. It is really sad to me. I for one do not want to surround myself with people like that.

    I like your approach of blocking and being aware of the signs right away.

    I think for women it is even harder because we are raised to 'be nice,' and 'do not offend.' I think it is important for both men and women to know if you are being bullied all social etiquette is not longer required. Like I mentioned in the post, "Understand that it is not possible to communicate in a mature adult manner with a distorted individual who is a cyberbully."

    Thank you again Cloudexplorer for bringing great examples to highlight this problem.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    5 years ago from New York

    Most people think cyberbullying is just for kids, obviously not so. A bully is a bully no matter what his age or what his means of bullying. The technology age has given the bully a leg up on bullying...people he knows, people he doesn't know and all, as you point out anonymously.

    This is a very timely and helpful hub with good facts.

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.

  • pinto2011 profile image

    Subhas 

    5 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Hi CarlySullens! It is very essential to know how to stop such kind of bullying by the above points you have mentioned. It is some kind of mental sickness and one should first try to pacify and then distance oneself from such activities.

  • CloudExplorer profile image

    Mike Pugh 

    5 years ago from New York City

    One more thing I'd like to mention, as for hubpages is concerned. The Hubpages Learning Center states somehwhere that if this sort of thing in the community here happens, we need not retaliate, but should delete purely negative feedback comments that are meant to do harm to us here as authors, and aimed to ruin the good spirits of the HP community.

    So I remove any negative unwanted, hateful messages if they are to arrise, and in any of the communication portals made available here. This is the best way to handle it in house on Hubpages, reporting the person for such abuse may work as well, but I never done so, I simply stopped responding to their communications and it stopped.

  • CloudExplorer profile image

    Mike Pugh 

    5 years ago from New York City

    I was bullied by a few fellow hubbers at one time or another, and it moved onto Facebook of all places and in FB groups. Now one thing I noticed about their patterns is, they're identical.

    This is when I know to move quickly, to go at all means to block such activities initially, and so that such a person cannot attempt to bring down my digital empire I worked so long and hard to build up!

    I think jealousy is a huge factor when it comes to working in any community or organization and especially when these bullies start steping out and begin pounding their negativity upon others. ( I like it though to detect them, and to rid my connections of them each time, because its good to know who's who in any online community you're involved in)

    I also sense that such individuals crave attention, the desire to be overly controlling as though they are rulers of someone and literally everyone in their midst. This is what I call the digital God Complex, and I may also write about that someday, because its so sad that a person hiding behind a machine, may have earned some puny accolades both in life and online, but feels they have the right to set ablaze someone elses digital career in the making, due to being jealous, envious, or hateful. It's just nonsense, its unfair, and its unsportsman like conduct. (Darn Trolls)

    Now as for receiving pure negative feedback only from anyone online, that is also a true signal of where their mindstate is at, where any future communications between them is headed, and so I stay far away from such individuals even though they may not truly mean harm to me directly. In defence mode I will even scan a FB timeline to detect such patterns and I keep my communication lines with them severed so to stay in the clear.

    This is my approach to self defence, and you know if I get attacked violently with verbal abuse and nothing but it, then I react instantaneously with a countermeasure, and counter strike, because I am vigilant when it comes to someone doing wrong to me (I know it won't remedy anything, but I let it be known how wrong such a person is being directly to them in a harsh manner and leave it at that). If they do not heed to my initial warning, its black list heaven for them. I also report them, and block all possible connection points (Networks and all), IP etc....

    Thanks Carly for this very informative detailed hub about cyber bullies, it was very useful indeed and especially the video up there. Thumbs up high, and you bet I'm sharing this one everywhere I can. Nice one!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Aleshia, I agree, cyberbullying is a great way for to exude one's narcissistic confidence. It just seems so hollow to me sometimes. The depth and the meaningful connection with people online seems to get punitive and people trying to one up one another.

    Thank you for stopping by.

  • Aleshia Clarke profile image

    Aleshia Clarke 

    5 years ago from Port Orange, Florida

    It happens in domestic violence situations too. Ex-spouses and jilted lovers increasingly use social media as a means to degrade former partners. And for the psychopathic personality, cyber-bullying is a great way to exude one's narcissistic confidence. They crave attention.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    MsDora,

    I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Cyberbullying seems to be growing. I hope with awareness we could stand together and not allow cyberbullying to happen when we see it. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Linda. I say boo to bullies too. And yes, I wish they could do something else more constructive with their time, wouldn't the world be so much better if they did. :) Thanks for stopping by, sunshine.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 years ago from The Caribbean

    Something else to think about! Thanks for bring this issue to our attention along with the solution. Very good article. Voted Up!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Boo to bullies! I suggest they get a life and use their time more constructively. In the meanwhile your suggestions are right on...Block!

    Excellent article Carly!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    DieSmiling, it is sad how common cyberbullying is. I think it is getting bigger and not smaller. Thank you for stopping, commenting and voting up.

  • diesmiling profile image

    David Angulo 

    5 years ago from Philippines

    As always you give a lot of great information this scenario was so common here in our country but in our school it was forbidden. Great hub and Voted Up !

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Eric,

    Great point! I agree we do need to stand up to cyberbullies. Reporting and telling someone who has the authority to stop the bullying will begin to stop it. Sadly, though these bullies go on and find another victim. It is rampant.

    I also think, we need to be bearer of good news and positivity to people. We get hit so hard sometimes and having at least one person stand up for us is also helpful.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Back in the day before social networking was big, we had what was called "mailing lists". Most of these were designed for professional discourse on relevant topics and established by cutting edge "corporations" and "agencies".

    One time I was contacted to take out what we would now call a cyberbully. The job was simple. Hound him and force him into violating rules so he would be suspended. I studied the list. There were two others that needed "taking out". I pronounced boldly that I was the new Sheriff and these retrobates would be gone toot sweet. This was a challenge they could not refuse. I went downtown ballistic on them, within the rules. I got all of us suspended.

    Here is my point: If I see a "cyberbully" I must act. All the victims need is someone else standing up to these pricks of society. Standing up and willing to get shut down themselves.

    If you see and do not confront it publicly and with full force to shut it down --- you are as guilty as the bully.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Chace, you would think it would end in adulthood. Sadly, it systems to be relentless no matter what the age is. Thanks for stoping by.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Bill, that is so sad that an athlete had to leave a sport he loved because of horrific bullying. These cowards are becoming a very sad and concerning epidemic. More the reason to get H.O.W out there and surround yourself, on line and in person, with people with integrity.

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 

    5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    You'd think this kind of thing would stop with adulthood, right?? :/ I think not having to get the last word in is a very good way to stop the bullying in its tracks. Awesome hub! :) (Congrats on #8, too! ;D)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Good information, Carly. This sort of thing seems to be increasing. I just read another story about an athlete that had to quit because of the online bullying. The relative anonymity of cyberspace is the perfect playground for these cowards.

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