Albertans Are Highly Concerned About Cyber-Bullying

23% of Parents of Teens say their Teen Has Been Cyber-Bullied.
11% of Adults Say They Themselves Have Been Victims of Cyber-Bullying.

Calgary, AB —  According to a recent Insights West and 6S Marketing poll of 458 online Albertan adults, more than half (56%) are “very concerned” about cyber-bullying in society overall, while a further 38% are “somewhat concerned”.  A comparison of these findings to a similar study Insights West conducted with BC adults shows that Albertans are even more concerned about cyber-bullying than British Columbians are (48% “very concerned”, 41% “somewhat concerned”).

Among the 34% of Alberta adults with teens in the home, a disturbing 23% say their teens have been victims of cyber-bullying — consistent with the BC findings.

“Traditional bullying has been a concern for parents over the years, and now cyber-bullying is becoming a major issue for Albertans,” said Jane Ha-Trapp, Vice President at Insights West.  “Technology has given bullies a whole new avenue for harassing and threatening innocent victims.  Parents, teens, educators, government and law enforcement need to work together to fight cyber-bullying.”

Cyber-bullying is not only a concern among teens, but for adults as well. More than one-in-ten Albertan adults (11%) claim to have experienced cyber-bullying, with “heavy” and “moderate” social media users even more likely to report having been cyber-bullied (17%).  Incidence of cyber-bullying is also higher among younger Albertans aged 18-34 (23% compared to 5% among those 35 and older).  Vulnerability to cyber bullying among younger Albertans can be tied to this demographic’s greater use of social media.

Interestingly, Calgarians are significantly more likely to have experienced cyber-bullying (23%) than those residing in other regions (6% Edmonton, 8% Other Alberta).  Once again, this higher incidence is tied to more frequent usage of social media platforms such as Facebook.

“Cyber-bullying has been around in chat rooms for a long time.  But with the mainstream adoption of social media, it’s not just an underground thing anymore,” said Chris Breikss, President and Co-Founder of 6S Marketing.  “Considering the speed of social media and its availability—through smartphones, tablets—harassment has become inescapable.  It turns into a round-the-clock nightmare.  The internet’s immediacy gives bullies a perception of power, and the sheer volume of these unmoderated interactions can have devastating consequences.  We need to develop new coping tactics to deal with this issue—whether it be educating parents on controlling their kids’ online activities, or educating individuals on the potential dangers of online social activity.”

Although cyber-bullying is increasing, “traditional” bullying is still prevalent, with 62% of Alberta parents saying their teens have been victims of “traditional” bullying.

Interestingly, when asked who Albertans believe should be responsible for countering cyber-bullying, three-quarters (74%) feel it is the parents who should take the primary role in battling this issue, while 60% believe teens should play a primary role and 55% believe individuals themselves should take a primary role.  A smaller proportion believe it should be the primary responsibility of the public school system (44%), media (41%), police (36%) and government (33%).

Consistent with Insights West’s BC survey results, cyber-bullying is driven by Albertans’ high usage of social media.  More than four-in-ten (43%) Albertan adults use Facebook on a daily basis, with 65% of those aged 18-34 using the platform daily.  Women also dominate the Facebook space, with 52% being daily users compared to 34% of men.  One-in-ten Albertans (12%) use Twitter on a daily basis, which increases to 23% among 18-34 year olds (compared to 11% among 35-54 and just 2% among 55+).

About Insights West:
Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company that exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis, through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations.  Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary, and has five full-time, and four part-time employees.

About 6S Marketing:
Founded in 2000, 6S Marketing expertly amplifies businesses through the use of digital marketing.  Their passion for online activation and engagement leads their clients to maximum results — and makes them one of the leading digital marketing agencies in North America.
Results reported here are based on an online study conducted in October 2012 among 458 Albertans aged 18 + who are YourInsights.ca panel members.  YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations.  The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian Census figures for Alberta for age, gender, and region.  Results have a +/- 4.6 percentage point margin of error, 19 times out of 20.  To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Jane Ha-Trapp
Vice President
Insights West
403-860-5277

janehatrapp@insightswest.com
insightswest.com
www.yourinsights.ca