Over the years we’ve witnessed a slight evolution in bullying, from the after school fights or lunch money shakedowns, to now, with texting, emails and social media cyber bullying. Statistics have shown that cyber bullying is just as damaging as any other form of bullying.
In this post I will be listing 10 ways that you can stop the propagation of cyber bullying:
In order to effectively combat cyber bullying, you must first understand exactly what it is. Look up the things that are characterised as cyber bullying, where and how it occurs, and have a discussion or two with people that have had similar experiences online.
Block Those Bullies
If you are receiving harassment in the form of text messages, post comments and instant messages, then you should definitely consider blocking such persons. If you’re being bullied in a chat room, then you can always leave it.
Talk to Someone
Statistics shows that only 10 percent of those experiencing cyber bullying talks to an adult about it, and yet, the same statistics shows that close to 70% of those who have experienced such bullying, see it as a major problem.
In most cases, people are reluctant to speak about their experiences out of fear and even embarrassment. Kids feel that letting an adult know about it will make the situation worse, or they fear that the parents and/or teachers will be unable to stop the harassment. It’s very important that you make that move, if you feel that your child may be a victim of cyber bullying.
Consider more workable ways of countering the problem, such as contacting the websites directly or interacting with a school administrator.
Secure All Data
Bullies are sometimes able to create fake social media profiles by using photographs they have stolen. Once they’ve done that, they’ll use said profiles to post harmful messages. It’s very important that you are very careful when posting anything online. It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of personal pictures you have online. Make sure you’re child knows to keep all passwords secure and to regularly change them. Bullies often times hack into the accounts of their victims and use that to post rude comments. Additionally, teens may want to consider setting their profiles to private and ignoring instant messages from people they do not know.
Don’t Bully Others
How do you think it would make you feel, being harassed? There’s a saying, “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” just spending a couple of moments thinking about it, should be enough to make you see how potentially harmful it can be.
Keep All Evidence
The only advantage that the bullied has over the bully in the digital arena is the ability to save and capture messages, which they can then send to others. You should consider doing this, even for things you deem minor.
Recognise the Signs
A child that is being bullied online, will often time’s behaviour much like any other child, in their unwillingness to talk about personal issues. But studies shows, that you should look for other signs, such as skipping class, loss of interest in particular activities, change in eating habits and lack of sleep. While these things can allude to a multitude of issues, you may also notice a general lack of interest in using the computer, or sudden instances of aggression and anger when you attempt to take the phone or computer away from the child.
If you interact with someone you’re not particular fond of, it’s always best to remain civil in your interactions. Research has shown that bullying is heightened by trash talking and gossiping. Try to treat others the way you would like them to treat you.
From time to time it may be a good idea for you to do a search on any major search engine, using your name as the search term. This way you can find out how much information about you is available. If you find anything that you believe makes you vulnerable, then you should take the necessary actions to have it removed.
Keep Your Photos PG
Before you make that decision to send a racy picture of yourself to someone online, think about how it would make you feel if a family member was to see it. Bullies will often times find these pictures and use them as ammunition against you.
Log Out Of Accounts When On Public Computers
Just as you never want to share your passwords, you also don’t want to give people any chance of posing as you, or sharing your information. Additionally, by staying logged in, you also increase the risk of bullies getting into your account and changing your password(s), essentially locking you out of your own accounts.
Most adults think that social media sites are the main staging grounds for bullies and the like, and there is some truth to that. But with more and more teens owning smartphones, the scope of bullying is gradually increasing. Bullying can occur on a plethora of social media sites, such as Instagram, FaceBook, Snap chat and Twitter, emails are also used effectively by bullies, through the exchange of messages.
These same smartphones are never too far from a teen’s hand, which means the bully can go on without much interruption. With the advancements in modern technology, it’s becoming increasingly more important for adults to monitor what their children are up to on their mobile phone devices, if at least for their own safety.
Make Bullies Accountable
There has been talks of specific applications in development that are capable of scanning videos and photos on social media sites, in order to recognise signs of bullying. If the app detects bullying, it automatically alerts the victim, school administrators, parents and perpetrators, in an effort to create total awareness to the victim, the victimizer and the various adult authorities. Even without such apps, the parents should make every effort to ensure that the bully is made accountable by altering the necessary school authorities, and the parents of the bully. Bullies must understand that there are consequences to such actions, and that everyone deserves to live without fear of harassment or violence.
Current statistics on cyber bulling has made it clear, that this is an issue that is persistent and very serious. Armed with the appropriate data and the viable solutions, teens and parents can help ensure that there is a downturn in such behaviour for the foreseeable future.