Say NO to Cyberbullying
Have you heard about Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is using information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. Cyberbullying nowadays occurs more frequently among the Internet users around the world, especially among teenage users. With the expanding use of cyber technologies, cyberbullying could be
perpetrated through various forms or methods, involving harassment, cyberstalking, denigration, impersonation and exclusion. Moreover, In terms of the relationship between a bully and a victim, they may know each other directly, or have mutual friends or are complete strangers. The intention of cyberbullying usually includes threatening a vicitim’s earnings and employment, damaging his/her social reputation and affecting his/her online participation. In some extreme cases, cyberbullying could directly or indirectly bring a threat to a victim’s life. So do NOT underestimate it!!!
What to do when encountering Cyberbullying?
- Ignore the messages, the bully is looking for a reply, don’t give them a reason to continue.
- Block the person doing the bullying
- Do not forward pictures or abusive messages
- Remind your kids to reach out for help, do not be scared to tell you, a teacher, a counsellor or a trusted adult about their concerns. Never try and deal with it alone. Cyber Bullying can get out of hand very quickly, it is important to act immediately.
Make times when all devices are away. In the evening set a time when all phones and devices go onto charge and onto silent. This will give your kids some time out and rest. Often teens and children wake up during the night due to constant notifications, pings and alerts from social networking sites. This can effect concentration, disrupt school work and leave your child feeling exhausted during the day. To start, give it a try for a week at home and reward your kids for participating. You can also create digital free weekends for the whole family
Finally, teach your kids to never add strangers as ‘friends’ on social networking sites. Check your child’s ‘friends list’ regularly. If your child has not met the online ‘friend’ in person, it is difficult to determine if the person or profile is real. If your child is sure that their online friend is someone they know, Skype or live web chat the online ‘friend’ with them to ensure this person is who they say they are in real life.
Remind your kids that people they have met online are actually strangers no matter how long you have been talking to them. So many kids have met with people in person that they met online as a stranger. Kids and teens are very trusting and don’t think there are people in this world who will harm them. Unfortunately they do exist. There are too many children who have gone missing because of these types of meetings. Kids & teens should never meet with someone in person they have met online unless accompanied by a parent, or trusted adult.
Carly Ryan Foundation www.carlyryanfoundation.com