Cyberbullying is the use of technology (social media, email, text messaging etc..) to pester, undermine, humiliate, or target someone else – which typically happens to the youth. When an adult is cyberbullied, it might include digital badgering or cyberstalking, a crime that can have lawful outcomes and include prison time.
Cyberbullying can also happen coincidentally. The indifferent idea of text messages, DMs, and social media posts makes it exceptionally difficult to identify the sender’s tone — one individual’s joke could be another’s harmful affront. However, a rehashed pattern of messages, emails, and online posts is rarely unplanned. Since numerous children are hesitant to report being bullied, some parents find it difficult to notice when their children are being cyberbullied.
Be that as it may, ongoing studies on cyberbullying reveal that around 1 out of 4 teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying, and around 1 out of 6 confess to having cyberbullied somebody.
Signs of Cyberbullying
Many children and teenagers who are cyberbullied would prefer not to tell a teacher or parent because they feel embarrassed about the social exclusion amongst their peers or dread that their parents will put an end to their online presence.
Signs of cyberbullying are not fixated to just one thing or behavior; they vary because each individual involved is unique:
- being emotionally upset during or after using the Internet or the phone
- being very secretive or protective of one’s digital life
- withdrawal from family members, friends, and activities
- avoiding school or group gatherings
- slipping grades and “acting out” in anger at home
- changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
- wanting to stop using the computer or cellphone
- being nervous or jumpy when getting an instant message, text, or email
- avoiding discussions about computer or cellphone activities
If you suspect your child is being bullied on online, it is important that as a parent or guardian you offer them comfort and assurance that you will get them all the help they need to overcome this difficult period in their lives.
You may also need to report the case to their school – many schools have policies and protocols set aside to deal with cyberbullying. Remember not to leave the child out of any decisions you make about resolving the matter at hand so that you can work out a plan that makes you both feel comfortable when addressing this to the school.
Lastly, urge your child not to react to cyberbullying, because doing so might add fuel to the fire you’re trying to put out. A simple technique to use is:
SCREENSHOT – Collect evidence of the cyber-crime that has taken place.
REPORT – Report the cyber-crime to the social media platform, ISP, school and/or police.
BLOCK – Block the user that is committing the cyber crime on the social media platform / device.