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Everything You Need to Know about Cyberbullying

Mar 27, 2019 by

If a kid is showing hostility or aggression being left alone with the internet, it could be because he/she was being harassed through cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is slowly becoming one of the main problems facing parents and teachers nowadays. As kids spend more and more time on social media sites and other online spaces, the medium is slowly becoming a cesspool of anger and hate. In fact, it has been studied that most young people spend at least 3 to 5 hours online and have their cellphones with them at least 80% of the time.

Cyberbullying is still bullying with all the implications and characterizations of traditional bullying. The main difference is in traditional bullying, a child can seek refuge from him home where he/she will be shielded from the bully. While in cyberbullying, as long as the person is online, he/she can always be a victim. It is a sad fact, that more and more kids torment and harass each other through electronic communications.

This is the state of cyberbullying in today’s world and without proper cyberbullying education, this self-esteem threatening problem can get even worse. Listed below are some of the statistics gathered that may be helpful in combating this rising epidemic.


The Spread of the Problem


Almost half of kids aged 18 and below admit to being bullied or bullying someone online. Of which, 90% say that they were the victim in the incident. This is no secret as well as it was found out that almost 70% of the kids have said that they witnessed a peer being a target of cyberbullies. Also about half of the kids, victimized or not, have said that they worry that they could be a target of cyberbullies. Social media sites seem to be the favorite spot for cyberbullies as it accounts for more than 90% of each attack.

What is most worrying is that kids seem to be reluctant in reporting a cyberbully for various reasons. Only 1 in 5 of the victims of cyberbullies have resorted to telling their parents, teachers or guardians about it. As a result of the depression that arises after constant bullying, a fifth of the victims start to consider committing suicide.

These information have been kept track of starting 2012 and parents of the kids interviewed claim that their children have not told them about it. If you feel like your child is dealing with a cyberbully, it might be best to make the first move as children rarely tell their guardians about it.


How to Prevent Cyberbullying


Speak Up


Every professional psychologist will tell you the same thing and that is you have to talk to your kids first. Have the patience to be able to talk to your child about the problems that he/she may be encountering. Ask him/her about cyberbullying and if he does not know what it is, explaining it to him/her might trigger your child to describe a similar experience that he/she is currently experiencing. At the very least, you could warn your child about the dangers of being in an online space.


Talk to Them through their Role Models


Kids idolize celebrities the same way that we parents used to. They hang on to the every word of the latest pop idol figures that dominate almost all media. At the age of social media, these celebrities are able to share their lives more and more to everyone in the world. While, this could spell danger for some, the positive is that they are now afforded a platform that allows them to talk about important issues to their countless fans. Cyberbullying is especially a problem among public figures and as such they might have a word or two about the matter. Make this a talking point when confronting your child about the possibility of being cyberbullied. If your persuasion is not enough to help them open up, then you might need help from celebrities.


Monitor Your Kid’s Online Activity


The best way to combat cyberbullying is to keep track of all the communications that your child does online. This way, you can collect all the evidences that stop the bullies on their tracks when they think about bullying your child again. There are many ways that you can track your child’s online activity without taking their phones away from them. There are countless apps that lets you monitor their activities through your own phone or computer.


Engage with the Community


It might take a community effort to end cyberbullying once and for all. It is important to keep conversations going on to make sure that there is no threat that each member are not aware of. As a community, you can decide what actions to take should one of the children be a target of the cyberbully. This should be a collaborative effort done by the school, parents, children and the authorities.


Build Positivity


Cyberbullying should start at school where most of a child’s activities in a day are done. The school staff should have the responsibility to ensure that each student has a positive attitude towards everybody. You can help set up scheduled meetings with schools to keep up to date with the effort that the school is promoting to battle cyberbullying. It can also help to have a safe space online, where there can be a limited forum where kids and parents can easily report any observations that worries them.


Conclusion


Bullying has been around ever since formal education has started. The only thing that really changed is the medium by which the cyberbullies are showing their aggression and hostility. If your kid is a victim of a cyberbully, make sure to try to understand how he/she is coping with it. Nowadays, an online persona through a social media site means the world to them. This means that an attack towards their social media account can reverberate to their very core. The real problem in dealing with cyberbullies is losing the touch in connecting with the children’s most inner thoughts and feelings.

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