Monday, July 8, 2013

Cyber bullying: What it is and what we could do to stop it

Cyber bullying refers to being bullied over the internet. It has become a huge problem among teenagers and younger children using the internet. Statistics have proven that  over half of adolescents have been bullied online and at least 1 out of every 3 teens do the bullying themselves. Also, over half of the children being bullied don't tell their parents. It may seem like a small problem, but the things said or done to a person through cyber bullying can affect them long term. By becoming more aware of cyber bullying parents, other adults, and the children/teens can help stop it. 

Cyber bulling can take many forms, such as: 

  • Sending threatening or mean texts/emails to a persons phone or email account 
  • Spreading rumors about someone online
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on a social network or blog
  • Hacking into someones account and sending damaging messages
  • Making fake accounts on a social network under an "alias" and sending threatening messages
  • Taking unflattering pictures of someone and sending them out to others
  • Sexting (Sending sexually suggestive pictures or messages to someone) 

Why do people cyber bully? 

The "cyber bullies" find it amusing and funny when they pick on others, especially when they see they can reach to a whole new group of people online. 

Whats the worse that can happen from cyber bullying? 

Cyber bullying isn't harmful at the moment its being done, but later on the person that was bullied can have emotional issues. Cyber bullying is known to lead to anxiety and depression. Recent stories have blown up on the news and ironically the internet about children and teenagers hurting themselves or committing suicide because of things that are said online. 

What can we do to stop cyber bullying?

  • Talk to the child or teen about how cyber bullying is wrong. Explain to them the consequences of sending any threatening messages or pictures to others. 
  • Encourage them to let an adult know if they're being bullied. 
  • Keep any messages or pictures as proof of the bullying. It can be reported to the police!
  • Block the person sending the messages. 
  • Never give away any account (social network, email, etc.) information to ANYONE!
  • Do not send anything you wouldn't like to be made public. 
  • Parents should encourage their children to not share any personal information online. 

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