In a typical classroom of 25 to 30 students, eight to 10 children — a third of the class — have been cyberbullied at some point in their lifetime. About three or four students are likely to have bullied others online.
High-profile cases like those involving Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, both of whom committed suicide after being bullied online, demonstrate how harmful this can be.
Research consistently finds that cyberbullying is associated with a number of social, emotional and academic problems. Young people who are involved in cyberbullying, either as offender or victim, are also more likely to think about and attempt suicide.
Compared to other forms of bullying, the “always on” and viral nature of cyberbullying may exacerbate these problems and a recent Canadian study suggests that the harmful impact of cyberbullying can persist into adulthood.