What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any type of bullying that takes place on devices such as computers, cellphones, tablets, etc. Those devices are used to transmit mean text messages and/or emails, or similar messages via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Other examples of cyberbullying include transmitted rumors, extremely embarrassing videos and/or photos, and even fake profiles.
Cyberbullying can be a bit more difficult to escape than in-person bullying because it can occur 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Cyberbullies can post anonymously, and they can reach an audience of unlimited numbers.
Effects of Cyberbullying
Kids who are cyberbullied are more prone to:
– health problems
– poor or lower than average grades
– skip school
– use alcohol and/or drugs
– experience in-person bullying
How You Can Help
– know what your kids are doing online
– know the sites your kids visit
– know the passwords used by your kids
– “friend” or “follow” your kids (but don’t intrude or embarrass them by posting to the sites)
– encourage your children to come to you if a problem develops. Reinforce the fact that you will not take away their computer or punish them in other ways simply because they’ve become a victim of a cyberbully.
– teach children about what they should and should not post online.
– teach kids how to post privately, or only to certain people, such as family and close friends.
– be sure your kids know that you’ll be monitoring their online activity. It is your duty as a responsible parent to do so.
*Monitoring the online activity of your kids is extremely important, not only to prevent your child from becoming a victim to a cyberbully, but to prevent your child from becoming the bully. Remember, for every victim, unfortunately, there is a bully.
The way I understand it, cyber bullying is when it’s kids and teens. It’s cyber stalking when it’s adults.
My question is, how can you file a Cease and Desist order without knowing your cyber stalker’s physical address?
I think you hit it on the nose with your ‘your duty as a responsible parent to do so.’ comment. I think it’s too easy to let your kids have a computer in their room where you have no idea of what’s going on. Some parents are in denial — oh, my kid would never do that or let themselves be beaten up psychologically and keep it a secret.
Of course these days it’s not just computers that give them access 24/7, it’s smartphones, tablets and who knows what else in the future. It can be ugly out there, and kids need all the information they can be given. Programs run by students for students seem to work better than adult programs, since no kid wants to complain or rat out their friends or the ‘cool’ people.
All I can say is I’m glad my daughter is 27 and isn’t going to be threatened by bullies – or become one.
Thanks for posting this, Lee. Raising awareness for all types of bullying is so important, especially cyber bullying. Kids are so vulnerable to attacks by peers and we, as parents, must be vigilant to what’s happening on their devices.