bullying is frightening and isolating. Most cases go unreported. But
giving in to text bullies is not the answer. There are ways to stop it and
prevent it from happening at all.
Text bullying is any form of message or call (text, photo, video, etc) that the receiver finds upsetting or distressing. This includes prank calls and repetitive empty voicemail messages. Overflowing people’s phones with irritating texts is also a form of mobile bullying, and it is possibly one of the most annoying. Text bullying is more common in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. It could also occur a lot in the U.S., but it is not being reported.
in three kids 10-19 years old have a cell phone. With technology like this,
it is impossible to get away from bullies: you can’t get out of range.
Kids may be harassed all the time, even in the middle of the night. A
girl returned from a family trip to Toronto to find that no kid at her
school wanted to be around her. This was all started by a text sent by a
fellow pupil. It stated that she had caught acute respiratory syndrome
whilst in Toronto. Another was harassed with comments such as, “Where did
mummy get those shoes - the bargain basement?” Girls tend to be bullied
more than boys because of clothing choice or to destroy
has obvious disastrous effects on children. They become afraid to come to
school, they change schools, and a sixteen-year-old Kiwi boy (New Zealand
suicide. The suicide had a connection to text bullying.
thing about all bullies, both physical and verbal, is that they expect you are
too afraid to tell. But telling someone you trust about your problem is
always the best option. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved. St.
Mary’s High School in Manchester, England, has organized a way to
report bullying through the mobiles themselves. Apparently children are more
willing to send a text than an anonymous note.
are lots of people out there trying to stop text bullying. Most schools
have banned mobile phones, and there are lots of organizations, such as
Vodafone, Netsafe and Telecom out there to help you.
you are sent a message that makes you feel uneasy, don’t reply to it.
For one thing, it could prove to the bully that their message has upset
you, and they may send more. Plus, if the situation resolves in you
complaining to your network provider, it can slow up the process if you
reply. This is mainly to ensure that it wasn’t a two-sided case, even if
all you said was, “Do I know you?”
to your provider. They can put a text ban on the bully or even ban them
from the network. Most networks will be willing to switch you to a new
number. They will always do their best to help you out.
Don’t feel pressured to give out your number to everyone who asks - just tell trusted friends and family. Be careful not to give out your full name or address if you use text chat and don’t arrange to meet someone you chat to without checking with your parents first. Only send texts when you’re in a good mood and think about whether you would like to receive a message like that before you hit send.
Don’t let text bullies frighten you. Sending anonymous texts is so lame and cowardly. If you ever receive a nasty text just think…
Would someone have the courage to say this to me face to face?
Text Bullying." Barnados. Dec. 2004
News." BBC. 7 Dec. 2004
13 December 2004
Mobile Bullying." Telecom NZ. Dec. 2004
message bullying 'suited to girls." Ananova
News. Dec. 2004
and Nesafe partner to fight text bullying." Scoop.
Mike. Detroit Free Press. 17 Nov. 2003. Dec. 2004
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