Our increasingly connected world created a new platform for bullies to harass our children. This type of bullying is called cyber bullying. It is pretty much the same as the traditional bullying most of us experienced at school. But this type is even more radical: children no longer use physical assaults or pick on other kids at school--now they have social media, emails and text messages. Although you won’t find bruises or scars on your child’s body it certainly doesn’t mean that he/she is not affected. Below, we listed top facts, statistics and ways to prevent cyber bullying.
- Over 60% of teens report to experience cyber bullying.
- 33% of bullying victims report they received text messages with threats.
- 95 percent of children admit to witness cyberbullying and ignored it.
- 80% of children agree that online bullying is easier to get away with than traditional bullying.
- Only 2 in 10 victims will inform their parents about online threats they receive.
- Girls are about twice as likely to get bullied online.
- Cyber bullying victims are 3-9 times more likely to think about committing suicide.
Cyber bullying is said to have more radical aspects than traditional bullying due to the so-called “invisibility factor.” As children don’t have face to face contact, they don’t get the feedback, which increases their brutality.
Online bullying occurs through the use of phones, smartphone, iPads, iPods, computers. It can be done through social media websites, emailing, text messages, instant messages and pictures.
Here are several suggestions to prevent cyber bullying:
- First and most important is to talk to your child directly and ask him/her about cyber bullying: what does your child know about this problem, has he/she ever witnessed, participated or experienced cyber bullying.
- Reassure that the victims have no fault in being the harassed target.
- You can also plead to teenage pop stars like Taylor Swift, Luis Tomlinson, Russell Brand and others active celebrities who stand against cyber bullying.
The last but not the least thing you should do is to monitor your child’s online activity. Chances are most kids won’t admit they have been bullied to avoid embarrassment. SMS monitoring apps allows you to track your child’s internet usage, monitor social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, instant messages (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp) etc. In addition, you can monitor all incoming, outgoing and deleted messages, view call logs and real-time GPS location.
As parents, we must stay informed and involved in order to protect our children from the painful and sometimes deadly effects of cyber bullying.