15 October 2015
New online study shows widespread effects of cyberbullying among Kiwi teens
Recent research shows that more New Zealand teens experience cyberbullying than those surveyed by Vodafone in 10 other countries worldwide. Nearly one in three (30%) Kiwi teens surveyed have experienced cyberbullying, compared to the global average of 18 per cent.
Vodafone commissioned a survey of 13 to 18-year-olds around the globe to gain insight into cyberbullying and how teenagers are coping with, and supporting friends, experiencing this form of bullying.
Of New Zealand teens surveyed, 55 per cent believe cyberbullying is worse than face-to-face bullying and the same figure says it is a bigger problem for young people than drug abuse. 84 per cent of teenagers reported hearing of cyberbullying happening to someone else – showing the extent of the issue.
Vodafone Head of Sustainability Abbie Reynolds says the survey highlights a need for more support for teenagers to deal with cyberbullying.
“For people who have been bullied, their memory of the event is often that no one stood up for them, so there is a real need for us to find solutions to help our teenagers to cope with and show support for friends experiencing cyberbullying,” says Reynolds.
The research suggests teens might prefer to use fewer words to express empathy and support, with 72 per cent saying they would be likely to use emojis to show compassion for victims, and 43 per cent saying they would find it hard to find the right words to show their support.
From these insights, Vodafone has launched a new suite of #BeStrong emojis to help teens show support for peers experiencing cyberbullying. New Zealand teens selected one of these as the emoji they most identified with: