In a survey of teenage girls by social network We Heart It, respondents reported being bullied the most on Facebook. According to Time, 66 percent of the 5,000 respondents reported being bullied on the platform. That beat other social networks by a long shot – 19 percent experienced bullying on Twitter, and 9 percent on Instagram. This jibes with other surveys, which have found online harassment to be particularly common on Facebook.
The social network was cited by a large majority of respondents for being a place where they felt like they didn’t fit in or experienced some type of drama with friends. The numbers were much lower for Twitter and Instagram. Some of the sentiments expressed during the survey include:
- “Bullying is constant.”
- “There’s a lot of bad things that grown ups don’t see.”
- “People think it’s okay to make fun of others, that it’s just a game.”
- “No one understands me. They call me fat and ugly. I wanna kill myself.”
We Heart It also conducted a focus group with young women about how they used social media. Time summed it up as follows:
- Have lots of followers.
- Have more followers than people you follow.
- But don’t look like you’re trying to get followers by hashtagging too much, etc.
- Don’t serial post. (“You only want to post one Instagram a day.”)
- If you do post multiple things per day, they’d better be amazing. (“You can post multiple tweets a day, but they can’t be stupid or not interesting.”)
- If you game the system, don’t get caught. (“She [my friend] probably has 20 fake accounts where she goes and likes her own pictures.”)
- Remove photos that don’t get enough likes.
- Be witty. (“Cute and clever captions are important. People judge you if they’re weird.”)
- Time your posts for optimal like-getting. (“There’s a lot of social pressure to get likes, so you have to post it at the right time of day. You don’t want to post it during school when people don’t have their phone.”)
- Facebook is for photos that weren’t good enough for Instagram.
Cyberbullying is an issue that has gained increased attention after numerous suicides were linked to cyberbullying. The issue isn’t limited to teenagers – a man from Ottawa was recently arrested on 181 cyberbullying charges.