Bullying In The Digital Age: When Words Hurt More Than 'Sticks And Stones'

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Bullying can have a devastating impact on young people.Photo credit: John Steven Fernandez
Photo credit: John Steven Fernandez

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Many of us learned this saying growing up as a way to respond to verbal attacks from bullies. Bullying has since evolved, and while that response still applies, it has been weakened by the ubiquity of bullying that the digital age allows. It used to be that if you were bullied at school, a safe space was waiting for you at home. But at a time when 20 million Facebook users are under the age of 18, social media communities often pick up bullying where the school yard left off, and often in ways that are ultimately more hurtful to victims of bullying.


Emily Bazelon, a senior editor at Slate and author of "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy."

Amanda Palmer, alternative musician, formerly of the Dresden Dolls.


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Amanda Palmer "[W]hen i got home, it was over. I could mull, but I couldn’t go on Facebook to continue to get battered. I couldn’t Google my own name to see what my score was on the great love-hate report-card in the sky. [...] I was, more or less, safe."

This segment aired on March 5, 2013.


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