family watching movie

How Parents Can Build Resilience With Activities, Movies, and Books

We have talked a lot about resilience over the last year, and have shared some practical ways to cultivate that ability. Today, I want to provide some additional tangible strategies to help you further. I have previously discussed that it is critical for kids to be placed intentionally in situations where they can discover their…

abc model resilience

The ABC Model to Build Resilience Against Cyberbullying

Resilience online is built in the same way as resilience offline. We must provide opportunities for youth to face social and relational problems head on, and to recognize their own strength, agency, and power to overcome them – do so within an environment of supportive resources (so they know you and I have their back!).…

League of Legends and Cyberbullying

League of Legends (or League for short) is the most popular multiplayer online game in the world, and takes place in a 3-D battle arena setting involving role-playing and real-time strategy elements into its live environment. Players in League (also known as “summoners”) are matched up with others depending on their skill and game level…

sameer-hinduja-facebook-online-safety

Facebook’s Global Safety Network Summit: Online Well-Being

A couple weeks ago, I attended Facebook’s annual Global Safety Network Summit in Washington, DC, to hang out with colleagues and long-time friends, and to make some new connections as well. Facebook first discussed the new safety initiatives they are implementing such as their outstanding new suicide prevention tools in Live and Messenger (check them…

New Teen Sexting Data

As regular followers of this blog know, Sameer and I recently collected data from over 5,500 middle and high school students from across the United States. We asked 12 to 17 year-olds to tell us about their experiences with a variety of online problems, including sexting. I thought it would be useful to share some…

New Bullying Data—and Definition—from the National Crime Victimization Survey

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is a large-scale data collection effort led by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A nationally-representative sample of approximately 90,000 households is selected, and a survey is administered face-to-face or via telephone twice a year for three years to 160,000 persons within those households who…

Millions of Students Skip School Each Year Because of Bullying

Over five years ago I saw a statistic that jumped out at me: “160,000 students stay home from school every day because of bullying.” This is a compelling and frankly unacceptable number. I thought about including it in a book that Sameer and I were working on at the time. As I started to dig…

resilience-bullying-cyberbullying

Cultivating Resilience To Prevent Bullying and Cyberbullying

We’ve all heard the “sticks and stones” adage while growing up, and the reality is that words – whether expressed online or in person – can hurt.  Sometimes very deeply.  But do they always?  And do they have to?  That is, do I have any say in the matter or am I completely at the…

New National Bullying and Cyberbullying Data

Here at the Cyberbullying Research Center, we use data to better understand what teens are thinking, doing, and experiencing at school and online. We promote evidence-based and research-inspired policies, procedures, and programming. And given the frequently-changing nature of technology use and misuse, we find it necessary to collect our own data on a regular basis…

girl-teen-coping-social-media-laptop

How Social Media Helps Teens Cope With Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Harm

It is easy for many adults – whether educators or parents – to focus on the negatives of social media in the lives of teens today. This is understandable, because they are the ones who have to deal with the fallout when adolescents make mistakes online (cyberbullying incidents, sexting cases, electronic dating violence, digital reputation…

Helping Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder when Bullied or Cyberbullied

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social communication and often is marked by restricted interests, repetitive behaviors, and focus and sensory issues. ASD is diagnosed along a continuum from Level 1 (which can be equated to traditional conceptions of Asperger’s Syndrome – a term largely outdated), to Level 2 (where the…

child-bullying-race

The “Trump Effect” on Adolescent Bullying Behaviors at School

American presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton recently remarked that: “Parents and teachers are already worrying about what they call the ‘Trump Effect.’ They report that bullying and harassment are on the rise in our schools, especially targeting students of color, Muslims and immigrants.” (August 25th, 2016, Reno, NV) But is this accurate? It came out of…

teen social media use

A Teen’s Thoughts on Social Media

I get a chance to meet and hang out with a lot of youth as I help schools educate their faculty, staff, and students about promoting positive teen technology use. With some, I’ve developed a friendship and have met their parent(s), and it has provided me a sounding board off which I can bounce ideas,…

cyberbullying-student-video

Cyberbullying Videos to Use in Presentations

Sameer and I regularly give presentations to students about the importance of using technology safely and responsibly. Due to time and resource constraints, this is often done in large school assemblies. By themselves, assemblies likely don’t accomplish all that we would hope for in educating young people about these issues, but they can serve as…

what you need to know about musical.ly app

What you need to know about Musical.ly

Musical.ly, an increasingly popular app with tweens and teens, allows individuals to create and share short videos that are lip-synced to songs of their choice. Remarkably, there are 80 million registered users, with around 10 million of those active on a daily basis.  These “Musers” – as they are called – upload an average of…

Ignore, Unfollow, or Unfriend? Managing Facebook Connections in Conflicted Times Cyberbullying Research Center image 1

Ignore, Unfollow, or Unfriend? Managing Facebook Connections in Conflicted Times

We all have them: Facebook friends who post something annoying, inappropriate, inaccurate, or upsetting. It could just be accidentally misspelled words or misused vocabulary. Or debating whether slaves helped to build the White House. Or it could be something much worse. Sometimes these posts stem from carelessness, naiveté, or ignorance. Other times they are clear…

Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims Cyberbullying Research Center image 4

Revenge Porn Research, Laws, and Help for Victims

With presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently pledging at a town hall meeting that she would do whatever she could to end revenge porn (and cyberbullying [call us, Hillary, we can help! Donald, you too!]), I thought it was time to take a closer look at the phenomenon. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about…

Sextortion Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Sextortion

When I think of the term “sextortion” I think of an offense marked by deceit, manipulation, and the callous exploitation of human vulnerability. I think of trust being violated, and I think of absolute heartbreak from the fallout. Finally, I think of wounds from which it seems very hard to recover. It also reminds me…

Review of “UnSelfie” Cyberbullying Research Center

Review of “UnSelfie”

Parenting expert and educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba released a new book last week. This by itself isn’t newsworthy (she has, after all, published roughly a book a year for the last quarter of a century). But this latest contribution has the potential to have a significant impact on parents and their children. I’ve followed…

Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram? Cyberbullying Research Center

Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram?

Parents are constantly asking me about their kids and their social media participation. Among other things, they want to know what app or site they should start their child on.  I could recommend some that are specifically designed for young eyes and ears, but those aren’t as popular as the ones that the mass of…

Teaching Snapchat Safety to Teens Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Teaching Snapchat Safety to Teens

In my last blog entry, I sought to help readers unfamiliar with Snapchat with a primer on its background, use, and notable features. While emphasizing that the vast majority of youth use the app in positive ways (based on our extensive anecdotal observations), there are some negatives that may arise on rare occasions. It is…

The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons

Snapchat. If you work with youth, you know it’s all the rage. And if you don’t, I bet you’re still hearing about it on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve taken the time to download it and use it. Maybe you have some familiar with how it operates, and why it is the next big thing.…

My Visit to the Columbine Memorial Cyberbullying Research Center

My Visit to the Columbine Memorial

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado. Even though my family loves Colorado as a vacation destination, I had never stopped by to see what was done to honor those who lost their lives in that horrific tragedy. My friend Dan – who lives in Littleton –…