When we think of bullying, typically our mind goes to the school yard and fists being thrown in some way shape or form. We think about meeting at the flag pole after class and or at the lunch hour and it being physical. That is not the case anymore. Fast forward to the times where we don’t even have to leave our own home to be bullied. We can do it right in our bedrooms sitting on out beds behind closed doors. What’s worse is that we can be bullied and have no idea what is even happening or even who is doing the bullying because of how anonymous the internet can be.
Online bullying is the 2020 version of the school yard fights. Online bullying can be one of the worst things to hit school aged kids due to the fact that it can happen anytime or any place. Online bullying can happen in your own home, on your mobile device, in school, on your social medias, or anything in between. The ability to create accounts on any social media immediately without having to verify yourself can be extremely hard to even track down who is doing the bullying. This can be anything from publishing a video which you see in many cases from parties of under aged teens drinking and making poor decisions or even being taken advantage of. To using some sort of blackmail to have someone do what they want them to do because they have information the victim might not want to have out in the public. Then it comes with publishing certain lies about a person across social medias for classmates to see and alienating folks with them even though they are normally not true. Remember, teens believe drama because they would rather not find out the truth.
The fact is, unless something goes to a criminal level and needs to get the authorities involved it can be extremely challenging to find out just who the bully is. Teens will be teens though and gossip does happen. There is occasions where people will essentially tell on themselves because they feel the need to gloat to their friends. However sometimes they also keep things under wraps or within their clique so that no one knows or the few that do know won’t say anything. The availability to create a profile without even having to use a profile photo can make things even worse. And then there is also the people who will use a profile photo but it will be of a celebrity or someone that you recognize where as the person being used is just being framed. One of the major issues also is that someone can essentially pretend to be another person while causing drama and bullying someone else. Maybe you are being bullied by the jock or cheerleader of the school however it is someone you may have had a fight with but they are pretending to be someone because they want to be anonymous.
Though it can be overwhelming if this happens to you I would suggest that you try not to engage with the person. Anything you say to this person can be twisted and essentially used against you for whatever reason. Avoid contact as their only reason for doing this is trying to bait you into saying things which can easily be changed. Even if you haven’t said anything against yourself someone can simply photo shop something and claim it was you saying it. If you find yourself in a situation like this. Block the account. I know that sounds stupid when they can make a bunch of accounts however if you just keep blocking accounts and cutting contact from everything eventually (one can hope and even if it seems like a long time away) they may become bored of this and move on from trying to harass you. Because let’s be honest, that is exactly what they are doing to you. And if it escalates or there becomes threats, or even if you feel uncomfortable and unsafe tell a parent or guardian or someone you trust like a teacher or something.
Education is key at young ages. Keeping that communication open from the time that they start using social medias and how to protect themselves. If you are able to help them with their profiles set it up so that they cannot be found, and all information that can be given is hidden until a person is accepted to view them. Especially with Facebook you have to make every profile photo set to private as when you upload it it will be public automatically. I know, this seems very strange but that is just how it works. You can also hide profiles from being able to be searched too. Make sure that if they are younger as well that you do have the option to see things, I know trust your child but that doesn’t mean creep their profiles. But let it be an option. And have your child also know that they can talk to you about anything. And if anything does happen let them know how to block someone from contacting them again and to never accept friends who they do not know. Once they accept it can be challenging to hide things from a person.
The internet can be scary. Especially since there is no face to a name a lot of the time when it comes to online bullying. The other thing is as a parent you really cant be relying on schools to educate teens and your ones about the dangers of meeting people online and talking to people they do not know. If you are not sure about a specific place I spot your child wants to use, do research also. They are multiple places you can find what a child using a specific server will be like and other reviews based on parents!
Have you recently had to deal with online bullying with your child?
Have you ever been effected by online bullying either now or when you were younger?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your stories regarding this!
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