Cyber-bullying

ByJayanthi

Cyber-bullying

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Internet and social media have a very powerful grip on most of us today. Bill payment, shopping, connecting via social media, chatting, gaming –  more and more things are being done online now. Combine the Internet with the use of mobile devices and we are forever hooked onto those devices! 🙁

Although most users of the Internet are adults who are above the age of 18, there are also several underage social media users since it is easy to get into any social media platform by the mere click of a mouse(with or without parents knowledge/consent! :))

Underage social media users might find the Internet truly mesmerizing. They visit gaming chat rooms, interact with strangers online, give away many of their personal details just by sitting right next to you! (and you might be totally oblivious to it!)  Most social media platforms require you to be at least 18 years of age to begin using their site – but there is no concrete way to enforce this. This in effect brings several young, nubile users to the social media scene.

The young cyber users might be spending more time online and foraying into newer websites and before they know it – they might slowly start getting “picked on” or made to feel bad. They may not even realize that they are getting “cyber-bullied” because unlike, physical bullies – “cyber bullies” are invisible and most of the activities are happening online.

What is “Cyber bullying”?

As with traditional bullying, scrupulous elements resort to malicious ways to make the innocent children feel bad. “Cyber-bullying” is making use of digital means(SMS, chat messages, various social media platforms) to mentally harass a teenager or a young individual. The anonymous nature of the Internet fuels cyber-bullying even more. As an underage child/teenager sits glued to the electronic devices, they are harassed and tortured mentally and might not be aware of it too. These are some ways that cyber bullying can happen:

  1. Posting distasteful pictures(without the person’s consent)
  2. Posting rude or untrue comments 
  3. Online threats
  4. Faking an online identity
  5. Harassing a person online(“Do this for me or I will shame in front of your friends”)
  6. Driving a person to suicide(example, “Blue Whale challenge”)

What are some signs that a child is being “cyber bullied”?

  1. Keeping to themselves
  2. Withdrawal from social activities
  3. Mood changes
  4. Acting different

How do we help a child who is being cyber bullied?

  1. Detection and acknowledgement is always the first cure. It is essential for parents to have all communication channels open with their children.
  2. Children should be given adequate knowledge about the pros and cons of the Internet and “cyber bullying”.
  3. Parents should also be keep up with the latest technological trends and stay in the digital “loop”(you have to keep tabs on them without being excessively “nosey”!! :))
  4. Once it is detected that a teenager is being bullied online, good to “block” the person on different social media channels
  5. Everything should be reported ASAP to parents or an appropriate person (if anything happens)
  6. If necessary, the matter should be reported to the appropriate social media providers
  7. In extreme cases, law enforcement may also have to be involved.

This post is the alphabet ‘C’ of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge. The previous post can be found here

 

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8 Comments so far

Sonia ChatterjeePosted on10:11 am - Apr 3, 2019

This is such an essential topic in the current context. I m really glad that you chose to write about it.

Sanjota PurohitPosted on8:10 pm - Apr 3, 2019

In today’s social media world online bullying has become a very significant topic. Parents need to be very careful. Essential topic.

Sitharaam JayakumarPosted on8:16 pm - Apr 3, 2019

It is great that this series of technical articles are coming from you Jayanthi. You are a qualified technocrat and your posts make great reading and they are understandable. Of course, I am a techy myself and I appreciate how you simplify things and write with clarity.

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