We live in an age where social media rules supreme and nothing in our lives is truly private any more. Peer pressure is a strange thing. Where grownups find it difficult to steer clear of oversharing on social media, it is even more daunting as a young person.
As more and more children are sharing their lives with their peers through technology, instances of bullying via text messages, social media, and other digital platforms seem to be on the rise. This is known as cyberbullying, and unlike the bullies of old, this method of harassment is far more relentless.
According to the National Crime Prevention, as many as 43 percent of kids and teens have been bullied online. Worse still, around half of those victimised by bullies are not telling the adults in their life. Without parental support, cyberbullying can leave lasting emotional and psychological scars. Now more than ever (October was National Bullying Prevention Month, after all), parents, teachers, and kids need to work together to stand up to cyberbullies.
What Can We Do?
Standing up to cyberbullying is a big task, and not one that anyone can take on alone. This is why kids, parents, guardians, and teachers all need to work together. So what can each person do?
As mentioned before, many of the children and teens that are being bullied never tell anyone what is happening. It is critical that kids come forward and tell someone when they witness cyberbullying - whether it is happening to them or to someone else. Tell a parent, a teacher, or even the website administrator, so that they can take the proper actions to stop that bully!
For adults, the task might even be more complicated. Yes, you have to keep an eye on the little ones in your life and watch for signs of bullying (either on their phones or on their faces). But it is also important that parents, guardians, and authority figures like teachers and coaches encourage the kids in their lives. By fostering and nourishing a child’s confidence, you just might give him the strength to stand up to a bully. Even if he is bullied, a child who feels connected to an authority figure in his life is far more likely to talk about it, saving him from further torment.
While 43 percent of kids are bullied online, statistics also show that 57 percent of bullies stop their behaviour when someone stands up to them. Bullies are cowards, whether online or in real life. If we all work together, you’d be surprised how quickly cyberbullying can become a thing of the past.
If you need more tips on reporting what you see online, check them out here:
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