cyberbullying: Slang terms teachers and parents need to be aware of
17th November 2014
In our first slang terms feature we focussed on sexting, one of the most alarming categories of texting and online language for both teachers and parents. In part two – and with Anti-Bullying Week 2014 in mind – we focus on an e-safety in schools subject that many consider equally as alarming, if not more so: cyberbullying.
People can be very cruel, and children are no exception. Bullying has been prevalent in society throughout history and is unlikely to disappear soon. Name calling is as powerful today as it has ever been (contrary to the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”) and with children spending an increasing amount of time in the digital world – whether while texting, messaging, gaming or chatting online – the practice has evolved into ‘cyberbullying’.
Cyberbullying is described as the use of digital technology for the purpose of harming or harassing someone, whether by individuals or groups on a single or repeated occasions. Cyberbullying typically takes place online at popular social media destinations, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube (though not exclusively). It also takes place on website forums and chat rooms. Cyberbullying also includes harmful or harassing communications via mobile phone messaging and texting, as well as traditional e-mail.
It is vital for teachers and parents alike to identify children who are either the victim of or perpetrator of cyberbullying. Many know from experience just how damaging this practice can be, with some instances resulting in self-hurting or, worse still, suicide. While cases of suicide brought on by cyberbullying in the UK may be rare, this most extreme of outcomes is still a major concern for all teachers and parents.
Parents and educators can stay vigilant and look out for terms suggestive of online bullying, such as these examples:
I hate you
Die in real life
Get cancer and die
F***ed up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional
F*** off and die
Fat ugly bastard
I don’t talk to you
I want to kill myself
Just leave me alone
other terms to look out for: cyberbullying red flags
Physical assault that is recorded on smartphones and sent to others or posted online. Message may contain Happy Slapped or Happy Slapper(s).
A person who deliberately publishes hateful posts on online forums, social media and comment fields. Also known as Haters.
A person who’s intention is to start arguments or upset others online. Term derivatives include Trolling and Trolled.
This is just a small selection of cyberbullying slang terms which are popularly used by young people. With all slang-based languages the vocabulary is constantly changing, emphasising just how important it is for both teachers and parents to familiarise themselves with the existing terms and to keep an eye out for new additions. At Impero, that’s exactly what our classroom management software keyword databases and slang directories will continue to do.