About 34 percent of young adolescents are victims of cyberbullying at some time during their lives, according to a survey of 457 middle-school students conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center in 2015. Twenty-one percent of those responding had been bullied more than once during the preceding 30 days.
The most-common form of cyberbullying was rumors spread online, followed by hurtful online comments, the Cyberbullying Research Center reports. About 10 percent of responding students were threatened with physical harm in a text message, and another 8.3 percent were threatened online. Other types of cyberbullying included being impersonated online and having hurtful or embarrassing photos posted online.
About 90 percent of teenagers who have witnessed cyberbullying say they have ignored it, and 75 percent of teens admit to visiting a website where another child is being bullied, says DoSomething.org. Additionally, only about 10 percent of victims tell a parent or another adult when they are victims of online abuse. Cellphones are the most-common medium for online cyberbullying, and adolescent girls are about twice as likely to be cyberbullied as their male counterparts.
Being a victim of cyberbullying has physical, emotional and social effects, the Megan Meir Foundation reports. These include insomnia, nightmares, stomach aches, headaches and changes in eating habits, such as or binge eating or skipping meals. Anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts are also common, as is social withdrawal and loss of interest in school.