Almost everyone was bullied at one point in life or the other. Parents’ biggest fear is that their child gets bullied without them knowing. Well now, due to the technology invasion we have been hit with, there is a new kind of bullying- E-bullying or cyber bullying.
E-bullying-or cyber bullying-is the use of social media platforms to harass, threaten or intimidate someone through electronic technology.
Some examples of cyber bullying are broadcasting mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, websites, videos or fake profiles.
So basically cyber bullying started when the internet started being accessible to anyone and anonymous users were able to download whatever they wanted without considering the consequences. It is then when victims of a new form of bullying appeared.
The statistics concerning cyber bullying are startling as The Harford County Examiner reported that:
- Around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying
- Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber bully victim
- Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement
- 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras
- About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others
- Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying
Based on those numbers, cyber bullying awareness should be raised through informing people about its main causes, serious effects, and prevention methods to ensure minimizing cases where cyber bullying has been enforced upon victims.
Children or teenagers reason their cyber bullying with actions that start at pure entertainment purposes and having fun to planning a revenge of other peers. Some do it to boost their ego and self esteem. It is quite complicated and at a lot of times fueled by peer pressure and the attempt to be popular.
Several cases resulting from cyber bullying have been life threatening or even deadly. This video by Fox 6 shows an example of a devastating case where a teen shot himself because a bully told him to. Others may cause people to have a bad reputation, causing them to have a low self-esteem or depression. It might make it hard for kids to communicate with others. In other extreme cases, people might commit suicide due to embarrassment.
These effects should be taken into consideration when facing such situations to take immediate action as prevention. Some ways to prevent cyber bullying from happening in the first case are making the most of privacy settings, thinking before posting, and keeping personal information personal.
Basically this all comes down to parental control, such that parents have to make sure their kids are aware of such a social issue. Parents must teach them how to setup privacy restrictions so that strangers won’t find or stalk them easily. They should stress on the importance of maintaining personal information to people they know and trust, not spread their lives all over the web.
You should know that you must report the abuse and assure your child that actions will be taken. Have a strong relationship with your children, watch their online activity, and make sure they are well aware of the consequences of cyber bullying to avoid having a victimized child to such a horrible act.