Cyberbullying is defined as the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages, usually anonymously. Cyberbullying takes bullying to new level. It comes from all different avenues; social networking, messaging, texting, and even through false identities. In today’s generation, majority of things are done online making cyberbullying a common thing.
Cyberbullies do not understand the consequences of their actions, but merely see it as a type of amusement to not only them but a large audience of online users. Such actions have much greater repercussions than just a slap on the wrist. But in reality, any form of bullying is not something to be taken lightly. Cyberbullies can face legal charges, creating a criminal record. It may affect them when applying for post-secondary education, as well as future employment opportunities. Not only does it impact their future, but it also the lives of those who are being bullied. Cyberbullying can lead to anxiety, depression, and unfortunately even suicide. The scary thing about the internet is that once anything is put in, it can never be taken down. Therefore the chance of reoccurring situations is possible. Cyberbullying is not subjected to just one person/group. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Prevention Methods for Parents and Adults:
- Explain what cyberbullying is, and the severe repercussions of participating in such a thing. Set rules for using any type of social technology, and set the understanding that breaking these rules will result in having their privileges taken away.
- Encourage teens to tell someone about cyberbullying whether it is happening to them, or they know it may be happening to someone else.
- If in fact you know that your child is a victim of cyberbullying keep messages and posts as proof to share with the participating authorities in order to end the bullying.
- Block/report the cyberbully as soon as possible, and be cautious when sharing contact information with people.
- Your children should not share passwords with anyone but you and if need be write this information down in a safe place that cannot be accessed by anyone else.
- Remind teens of the dangers of talking to people online that they do not know, and instruct them not to share any personal information on the internet with anyone.
- Be sure to establish and open relationship with technology so that if you suspect that cyberbullying is taking place, you are able to openly talk to one another.
Contact us regarding prevention workshops and training.