Good morning. Thank you all for coming. My name is Ashley Quark and this presentation is based on the findings of my masters’ thesis and is entitled, “Cyberbullying and Girls’ Online Social Performances.” I plan to present for a approximately 30 minutes and then I hope to open it up for discussion. I know that many of you are educators and have likely seen cyberbullying taking place among your students and so I think it may be useful to have a discussion based around your experiences and how they might compare or contrast with the findings of my study.
Cyberbullying and Girls’ Online Social Performances TLt Summit 2008: Learning in a Digital World Ashley A. Quark May 2008
Cyberbullying refers to the use of communication technologies such as email, cell phones, chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, or personal websites to send or post deliberate text or images perceived to be cruel and harmful.
hates Paulina: I love your BFF page it suits you well NO FRIENDS!!! anyway I would like you to do everbody a favour and stop putting pictures of you on this site (ecspecially when ur half naked and trying to make out with the camera!!! (put a gawddanm shirt on :( anyway I hate the site almost as much as I hate you , you devil child (you were sent here by deemons) were you adopted??? cuz you look like my fathers hairy ass
Charlie Swenson: This is the worst site i have ever seen before. In your only picture of yourself on the page you look like something from a horror movie. Fuck it looks like a shriveled up piece of shit with lip stick. Fugly!!!
Central Argument Bullying and cyberbullying should not be viewed as separate and distinct issues—the same processes are taking place in both.
“ I was just like, ‘Wow! There must be something really wrong with me if people, like really don’t like me and they like put it so publicly and everyone can see this. There must be so many people who think I’m just so dumb.’ . . . I’d just be like, ‘What am I doing? What I am doing wrong? What’s wrong with me?’”
“ I felt like I was so small. I did not feel big at all and like I felt like those other girls, even though I was taller than them, I felt like they were just 10 feet taller than me. I felt small and I felt so weak compared to them. . . .I felt that they had so much more power than me.”
“ She started, like started calling us like sluts and hoes and whores and like streetwalkers and just stuff like that and then after a while we’d just start saying it back because we’d had enough of it.”
“ I didn’t want to be like them and create my own website about them ‘cause I knew how it felt and I knew that, well honestly, if I was feeling this bad right now, why would I even want to put that kind of pain on anyone else?”
“ I started obsessing a lot on the computer. I started going on a lot more. Like just checking out sites, just making sure that nobody’s talking about me. I’d go on msn and make sure. . . . Like I just over-obsessed about it. Like I’d go on everyday for like 2 hours, 3 hours sometimes, just making sure that no one’s talking about me, there’s no websites about me.”
“ My one friend wrote a long comment like, if she ever found out who it was, she’s going to kick their ass for putting stuff like that on there. And she was pretty much the only one that stood up for me.”
“ I had like a folder of all the emails that he had sent me and in a year and a half there was about 700 in there and he [my teacher] was the one that got me to delete them all.”
Effects, Reactions, & Coping Strategies The effects of cyberbullying as well as girls’ reactions and coping strategies parallel those of conventional bullying, thus drawing parallels between the two.
“ I think it’s a little harsher online because people feel protected, kinda safer, than if they were in real life. Like no one can get them or hurt them back. It’s online and it’s not real life and no one else is listening.”
“In grade 6 they made fun of me for being a Russian, even though I’m not Russian, but they made fun of me. They would all like laugh at me, call me names and stuff, and they’d be like, “Oh you Russian.” And the one girl, as I was walking to my bus, she ran and jumped on my back and like I fell in the mud and then so this one girl called that the “Russian Attack.”
“ They [teachers and principals] talk about bullying stuff, but they always talk about bullying face-to-face. Like you see all these posters up around school and they don’t even talk to us about stuff on the Internet and that sort of thing happens. I think like they’re not concentrating on how things are actually going. We get lots of videos, lots of talks, lots of posters, lots of activities even, like about bullying, and they never say anything about the Internet. . . . They never talk about it at school, and I think that’s probably what they need to do ‘cause, I mean, even if you don’t stop it completely, it’s bound to help.”