ARTICLES, INTERNET SAFETY. FACTS ABOUT CYBER BULLYING
Cyberbullying: Why Do Some Girls Become So Mean?
Mean Girls Do Not Discriminate, They Target Anyone
A target may have caught their attention by saying something intelligent in class. A target may be someone who is primarily quiet and not in the way of anyone. A mean girl may have seen their boyfriend smile at someone and target them. Sometimes it is simply that the target was the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, the ‘mean girl’ may have recently experienced abuse in their personal lives and the target is the first person they can take it out on.
- Media: TV shows, movies that make these behaviours seem acceptable and humourous i.e.: Mean Girls (movie).
- The natural awkwardness of teenage years: changes in their appearance, body, personality (hormones).
- Irritable mean behaviours can be a sign of a medical issue
- Their basic needs in life are not being met. They search for i.e.: belonging, acceptance, power and control in their lives.
- Insecurity: jealous, envious, of something the others have. They are often too ashamed or embarrassed to show their pain and/or vulnerability, and therefore they take it out on others.
- Desperately seeking attention (positive or negative)
- They may fear to be alone, abandoned, rejected, harmed, and/or becoming the target of bullying (again?)
- Have past or current issues of abuse in their lives. They need recovery.
Research shows that children who are born into chaotic environments. i.e. domestic violence, sexual abuse, parents are addicts and/or untreated mental health, are at a higher risk of becoming bullies and/or targets.
What Do Mean Girls Do To Their Targets?
- Groups of girls will glare and stare at their targets (intimidating/humiliation).
- Make fun of the target’s characteristics i.e., freckles, hair, clothing’s, voice, size, height.
- They walk by their targets and laugh at them.
- They will refuse to sit near you on the bus and try to encourage others to do the same. “Ostracism or exclusion may not leave external scars, but it can cause pain that often is deeper and lasts longer than a physical injury” (Dr. Kipling Williams)
- Tell their targets to shut up in class or call them names like “weirdo, ugly, fat”
- If a target arrives at a party or event they say things like “you’ll regret this”.
- Sabotage their targets friendships, reputation, school work, projects.
These actions are abusive and when experienced over time, these behaviours can create serious harm to their targets physical, emotional, psychological health.
Cyber Bullying has Become a Lethal Weapon For Mean Girls
Anyone who wishes to take their personal struggles out on others will now have powerful vehicles (computer/cell phones) with unlimited access and possibilities. Unless parents step in with a variety of controls, cyberspace gives mean girls (and boys) free reign for spreading gossip and rumours, sharing vicious images, cruel jokes, and uploading personal photographs of their targets in compromising situations i.e.: dressing in their school change rooms. This offensive threatening material is shared a) worldwide b) indefinitely. to you. Contact ABRC for information about resources in your area.
Linda R. Crockett MSW, RSW Founder, CEO and Therapist ABRC (firstname.lastname@example.org)