Think Before You TypeWritten by Cylandia Green
Cyber bullying has become a serious problem for many young people which makes their lives unbearable. This type of bullying occurs on all social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.
What is cyber bullying? Cyber bullying is when someone is threatened and harassed or even the spreading of gossip or the spreading rumours to intimidate someone.
According to bullying statistics.org nearly 43% of children are constantly being bullied online, with 1 in 3 experiencing it first-hand online on more than one occasion. Over 80% of teenagers use a cell phone regularly, making teenagers the most common victims to cyber bulling.
Children who have access to the social media, often fall victim to social media predators. Cyberbullies deliberately use media to communicate using hate speech and embarrassing or hostile information about or toward another person.
This is said to be the cause of sudden increases in suicidal thoughts, attempts and can even lead to death. Teenagers suffer in silence when they are cyber bullied and feel ashamed to seek help and are hesitant to tell friends or family members.
Cyber-bullies do this for entertainment because it is believed that they are bored. They also are motivated by anger, revenge or frustration.
There are signs to let parents know if their children are victims of cyber bullying. And these include:
-Nervousness when receiving a text message, email or Facebook.
-Unwillingness to share information about online activity
-Unexplained anger or depression, especially after going online
-Abruptly shutting off, or walking away from the computer mid-use
-Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts
-Withdraws from family, friends and activities they previously enjoyed
Signs your child may be a cyberbully
-Has a history of bullying, or has been the target of bullying themselves
-Avoids conversations about computer and cell phone activities
-Uses multiple online accounts
-Switches screens or closes program when you enter their immediate environment
-Shows excessive use of the computer and\or cell phone
Advice for victims of cyber-bullying
• Don’t respond: If you are a victim of bullying your reaction is what the bully thrives on it gives them power over you.
• Block the bully: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person
• Reach out for help: talk to someone you can trust or a professional who can help you
Parents are advised to be alert of their children's social networking and what they get up to online.
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