Why Do Kids/Teens Cyberbully Each Other?
Who knows why kids or teens do anything? When it comes to cyberbullying, they are often motivated by anger, revenge, or frustration. Sometimes they do it for entertainment or they have too much time on their hands and too many tech toys available to them. Many do it for laughs or to get a reaction. A growing number do it to make a point to others, to improve their profile’s popularity or video’s page views, or to get attention for their “15 megabytes of fame.”
Each of the four types of cyberbullies (and the one sub-type) does it for their own particular motive:
- The Power-Hungry cyberbullies do it to torment others and to enhance their view of themselves as being in charge.
- Revenge of the Nerds cyberbullies (a sub-type of Power-Hungry cyberbullies) may start out defending themselves from traditional bullying only to find that they enjoy being the tough guy or gal.
- Mean Girls cyberbullies do it to help bolster or remind people of their own social standing.
- Vengeful Angel cyberbullies think they are righting wrongs and standing up for others.
- Inadvertent cyberbullies never meant to hurt anyone, but because they were careless hurt them by accident.
While the tactics may differ, most are motivated by anger, lack of impulse control, frustration, ego-boosting, revenge, jealousy, the need to teach someone a lesson, the desire to impress others, to make a point, to be funny or become more popular, to draw attention to their online posts and presence, by boredom, or by being careless, thoughtless, and typing without thinking.
Because their motives differ, the solutions and responses to each type of cyberbullying incident have to differ too. Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" when cyberbullying is concerned. We lay out what works best for each type of cyberbullying in our Addressing Cyberbullying—What Works and What Doesn’t.