Social-media rumination: Bullying and cyber-bullying

Social-media rumination: Bullying and cyber-bullying


[LEANDRA PARRIS] In our nationwide sample,
as far as looking at rumination being
really high so going above what we would consider
to be normal, it was about a third of the sample that
kind of ranked at that high level. Our hypothesis is that students who
ruminate on social media have other things
going on, have other vulnerabilities that are
causing them to sort of put all of their eggs in the social-media
basket, so to speak. We looked at bullying and cyber-bullying. Bullying is traditional, face-to-face,
name-calling, exclusion. It happens at school a lot, more than
we would like to admit, but, umm and it causes a lot of distress. They become, victims tend have a lot of
depression, anxiety. So they can develop suicidal ideation,
an that kind of stuff. So it’s one of those things we’re trying
to figure out the best way to combat it, and also figure out how to help victims. Cyber-bullying is the same types of
behavior but through electronic devices. So, going on InstaGram and posting
mean things in response to your posts. Shaming. Posting pictures that you didn’t
approve. That kind of stuff. So, of the two, I would expect social-
media rumination to be more closely
associated with cyber-bullying, because that’s where cyber-bullying
happens. And we didn’t find that. It was very
interesting. So, bullying was associated with
social-media rumination, so being bullied at school, meant that
those, or was associated with an increased
social-media rumination among our
participants, which then also increased as far as their
distress. So social-media rumination is one of the
pathways through which bullying caused
distress in our students. But that did not exist for cyber-bullying,
and I don’t really have a good reason why. The only thing I can think of is I did
a study back in 2012 where I was interviewing high-school
students about cyber-bullying, it was kind of just coming out, and they
were very quick to say that they isolated
what happened online from their school-life. I didn’t really know what to predict as
far as social-media rumination in terms
of gender differences, but when we looked at negative reactions
to online engagement, or incidents, in terms of social-media rumination, it
was actually males who social-media
ruminate the most, who have the greatest negative reaction. So, when we’re looking at the line,
girls are, kind of, depending on
social-media rumination, it goes up a little bit in terms of
negativity, or negative reaction, but for males it’s a much stronger
relationship between social-media
rumination and negative reactions to social media. Technology is amazing. It gives us a way
of communicating that we’ve never had
before. Students have access to information that
we’ve never been able to do in the past. They have more information at their
fingers than I remember having with a
card catalogue. But the downside of that is that it’s
non-stop. It’s all the time, and kids find ways to
hurt each other, and they’re using
technology to do it.

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