Social Media And Cyberbullying: How To Keep Your Teenager Safe
In this time being, all parents should be well informed about social media and cyberbullying. Why? Because your child might be experiencing it at this very moment.
The statistics are nothing but scary. According to cyberbullying.org, 60% percent of teenagers have experienced online harassment. And when it comes to online bullying, there’s nothing worse than ignoring or downplaying its impact on young people’s mental health.
Teenagers are the ones exposed the most to being bullied, and social media is where it typically takes place. The good part is there are plenty of solutions parents can take to help keep their teenagers safe from cyberbullying on social media and, in this article, we’ll discuss the most efficient ones.
So let’s dig in!
The Connection Between Cyberbullying And Social Media
or some people, especially the insecure ones, it’s much easier to be mean and lash out at others on social media. Certainly much easier than it is in real life. Sadly, the online world is the perfect place for them to unleash all their frustrations on others.
And while it might seem that words written on Twitter or Facebook have no real importance, they can be very hurtful to victims of cyberbullying and can cause severe damage.
Here are some examples of what online abuse on social media can look like:
- Posting from someone else’s social media account or sending messages without their permission
- Creating fake social media profiles with the intention to mock someone
- Posting photos of other people without asking their permission first
- Sending mean messages on social media chatting apps
- Leaving mean comments on someone’s social media profile
- Using group chats to harass people
How To Find Out If Your Child Is Bullied Online?
Being harassed online is an ordeal for people of all ages, but teenagers have the hardest time dealing with it. Social media may be online, but it is public. Being shamed, ridiculed, or mocked in public is a traumatic experience with many negative consequences.
Moreover, cyberbullying on social media can happen at any time, making the stress of dealing with it tremendous. Here are some signs that your teenager might be dealing with it:
- They are more withdrawn than usual and tend to avoid or refuse to spend time with friends and family.
- Get nervous when checking their notifications, and pick up their phones more often than usual.
- Often seem upset after checking their messages.
- Are more tired than usual or have difficulty sleeping.
- Eat more or less than usual or have stomach aches or diarrhea episodes.
- Want to avoid school and/or other activities they used to like doing.
- Their grades may be lower than usual.
What Parents Can Do If Their Children Are Victims Of Cyberbullying
If your children have been the victims of cyberbullying, you must comfort them. Teens must know that they won’t be punished for coming forward, even if other details in their story might trigger some scolding.
As a parent, you should talk to your children about their feelings and observe them for a while after the episode, as the effects might be seen over time.
You must make it clear that they can talk to you whenever they feel sad, mad, embarrassed, or frustrated about the cyberbullying episode. Depending on the effects, teens might benefit from talking to a psychologist to ensure they have properly dealt with it.
Last but not least, talking with professionals in internet privacy solutions is always helpful. These companies specialize in helping individuals make their online activities safe and share online privacy methods both adults and children can use when online.
The Best Approach To Cyberbullying
When cyberbullying happens on social media, the sources will many times be from someone your kid knows. If the cyberbully is someone from school, then the incident must be reported. Each school has its own policy against cyberbullying, but zero tolerance is the common ground.
Teenagers should report these incidents to their principal because coming forward is the only way to stop bullies from harassing others. Having proof is an important aspect, so documenting cyberbullying is essential.
Social Media Platforms
The biggest social media platforms out there, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are making efforts to stop cyberbullying. All incidents must be reported so that the proper measures can be taken.
If somebody’s posts or comments are flagged for cyberbullying repeatedly, then the social media platform will take action and close their account.
In more severe episodes of cyberbullying, photos or personal information of the teenager might be made public online. Parents must know that there is a solution for this. They can contact Internet Privacy as we can help them with any online privacy concerns they might have.
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