Episode 116 - Dr. Janet Joiner: Cyberbullying and Cyber Social Work

Monday, April 01, 2013, 9:02:37 AM

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The internet and social media have created numerous new opportunities for communication, relationships, and learning. Opportunities for the misuse of this technology have accompanied the popularity of these media. In this episode, Dr. Janet Joiner discusses her work with cyberbullying behavior and addresses how modern technology can be integrated safely and productively into social work practice and education.

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Average Rating: 4stars  nice introduction to cyberbullying and social work, Sunday, February 01, 2015

By Annie :

Our “digital footprint” and the ramifications it has on the communities and world around us is an issue that has become increasingly important to discuss. Dr. Janet Joiner’s interview on cyberbullying and cyber social work is an important introduction to these issues.
Dr. Joiner tells us that on the World Wide Web today, there are ever-increasing forums that support cyberbullying, or targeting others for humiliation through the use of technology. Social media is a relatively new medium in our technological age and Dr. Joiner states that it has become a moving target of sorts, making it difficult to keep education and policies that support responsible uses of technology in place and up to date. She stresses the importance of responsible media use on college campuses and suggests that these issues should be integrated not only into new student and faculty orientations, but also into curricula in schools of social work, stressing the effects they have on mental health. I would have enjoyed further discussion of the specific ways in which cyberbullying affects the mental health of both victims and perpetrators and the ways in which these effects may (or may not) differ among various age groups.
As someone who hopes to work with adolescents in the future, Dr. Joiner’s description of the “Cyber Mentor Project”, which pairs Social Work students with area High School students and helps them to create community service projects around responsible and respectful media usage sounds both revolutionary and necessary. I believe this would be an invaluable experience for all involved and an opportunity for service learning that I would love to see UB embrace.

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Average Rating: 4stars  cyberbullying, Tuesday, January 27, 2015

By Sarah R. :

Dr. Joiner presents an insightful discussion on the current issues surrounding cyberbullying. As Dr. Joiner mentions, cyberbullying is an extremely important topic, as it continues to grow as technology becomes more accessible and more advanced. Despite this widespread use of technology, cyberbullying continues to be a fairly new issue, with minimal research available providing solutions to this phenomenon. I really appreciate Dr. Joiner’s inclusion of not only negative effects associated with technology use, but also the many benefits. I think Dr. Joiner makes an important point: to not discourage technology use as it continues to grow, but to educate students on the issues surrounding cyberbullying and the responsible use of technology to promote “netiquette.” I also appreciate Dr. Joiner’s discussion on the “Cyber Mentor Project," as it helps to prevent cyberbullying among high school students; however, I feel that this education should begin at a much earlier age, as research suggests the presence of bullying in school age children, and potentially even preschool children.

I am interested in knowing more about the definition of cyberbullying. I have conducted research on bullying in early childhood samples as an undergraduate, and according to the bullying literature, there seems to be some controversy over the definition of bullying; specifically, on what components actually comprise the term (i.e., repetition, intent to hurt or harm, power imbalance). This debate seems to hinder one’s ability to conceptualize and operationalize this problem, therefore impacting one’s ability to accurately address the problem. I am curious if Dr. Joiner, throughout her research, has come across this controversy as well, as she mentions there is no standard definition? Does it impact the conceptualization of cyberbullying? Or does cyberbullying represent a distinct construct, separate from the term bullying, as we know it?

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Average Rating: 4stars  the use of technology & social media in our everyday lives, Monday, February 10, 2014

By Alyssa Hancock :

Dr. Joiner does a wonderful job discussing the present issues of cyberbullying. Seeing as many individuals today have been raised in this era of technology and seeing as technology has become such a huge part of our everyday lives, it is important to consider how we use and misuse technology and social media. Cyberbullying is a huge problem today and something needs to be done to deal with it. Dr. Joiner mentioned that many individuals don't even realize that what they are saying on the internet qualifies as cyberbullying. She brings up great ideas about how we can inform individuals on how to use technology and social media responsibly. I agree that it would be beneficial to educate students on how to use technology responsibly as soon as they come to orientation. But, I do feel that the majority of cyberbullying also occurs at younger ages such as in middle school and high school. I feel that the issue of cyberbullying and appropriate technology use needs to occur sooner than college orientation. I believe it would be best to start educating on these issues as soon as middle school and to keep emphasizing these issues as students age. The Cyber Mentor Project that Dr. Joiner talks a lot about it is a wonderful way to do this. I feel that this project should be implemented in more high schools to really help educate students on responsible technology use. Despite the dangers of cyberbullying and inappropriate technology use, I appreciate that Dr. Joiner emphasizes the benefits of technology and social media. When used responsibly, social media truly has many positives- such as networking, connecting with others, and learning about opportunities. Dr. Joiner also mentions that research is just starting to trickle out so the impact of technology is currently unknown for the most part. It will be extremely interesting to see what research discovers in regards to the impact technology has on individuals and I hope to learn more about this as research develops.

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Average Rating: 4stars  a modern issue, Sunday, February 02, 2014

By Lydia Nestorowycz :

As technology advances it is very important to recognize that cyber bullying can easily impact numerous people through all forms of social media. I thought Dr. Joiner made a good point when she mentioned how, in spite of these issues, technology offers numerous benefits and should not be ignored overall. However, as the doctor also mentioned, this issue could also be impacted by preventative action. It is so important to make people aware of this problem so they know what to look for and who they can seek for help. In my own experience, I have found that there are many individuals who still do not recognize cyberbullying as a real issue. The saying "Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you" run true to these individuals. Cyberbullying is majority (if not all) verbal and there are those who do not believe any effort should be made to prevent it. This is why it is so important that people are taught about this issue, so it can be understood as a real problem.
This is such a new issue for the world and for social work, so it's understandable that there is not much research done on this. However, as Dr.Joiner mentioned, it is important that social work learns more about this issue and works to understand how to respond to it.

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Average Rating: 4stars  cyber usage and social work, Sunday, February 02, 2014

By Melissa :

Dr. Joiner does a very nice job of overviewing the important topic of cyberbullying and cyber usage. Not only does she discuss a little of how cyberbullying can occur, but she also covers several ways that administration, particularly schools of social work, can prepare students and staff members to deal with such issues. One idea that I found particularly interesting was the cyber mentor project. As Dr. Joiner emphasizes, social media, and more frequent technology use in general, is still fairly new; therefore, it is difficult for social work professors and students to understand the exact impacts technology may have on the population. However, with the increasing use of social media sites, understanding their effects will be essential. Some people become so dependent on their technological devices that at the time this podcast was recorded, there were talks that some sort of technology over-usage disorder would be included in the new DSM-V. Dr. Joiner also mentions an important point of consideration for future social workers as she talks about past, present, and future generations in regards to technology. There are already current generations who do not know what it is like to live without constant connection to technology, the internet, and messages with others. It will be interesting to see how this affects their lives in the years to come, as well as the way that future generations will be affected.

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Average Rating: 4stars  terrific insight, Wednesday, January 29, 2014

By Anonymous :

Dr. Joiner does a fantastic job of describing the impact of social media on students of all ages. In particular, Dr. Joiner discusses the role social work professionals and students have on educating themselves and others on appropriate social media practices. I found the topic of integrating social media into the curriculum intriguing. As a current MSW student, I think awareness to cyber-bullying, cyber-relationships, and all other topics cyber-related will be of extreme importance in the near future. I have no doubt that at some point in my career, I will encounter a client who has been a victim or perpetrator of cyber-bullying; as well as clients who engage in online relationships. I believe integrating the topic of cyber social work into a curriculum, as Dr. Joiner discusses, will allow the social work field to stay ahead of the curb on current practices.

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