With constant advancements in the field of technology, communicating with people across the world is not a problem. Social media platforms, audio and video calling services, unlimited messaging services are the common means by which people can interact with each other. Needless to say, children these days are forward enough to use these services to talk to people and interact with them. Smartphones and tablets are used to post updates in social media platforms or to chat with a stranger across the world. The number of users increases and so increases the rate of cyber crime. Cyber crime is something that is increasing with each day, teenage and adolescent minds are often victims of it. Innocent young minds are mostly their targets and gradually harm them. The technological advancements have made it easy for online predators to intrude in our private lives with a lot of ease.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a kind of harassment where electronic devices are used to send inappropriate messages, emails, inappropriate pictures and videos to hurt one’s feelings or to incite violence on the recipient. It can also happen in social media platforms in front of a large audience where the victim feels humiliated. With the help of digital world, online predators keep no stones unturned to harass their target in front of others. Spreading rumors in the digital world, making fake social media profiles or posting embarrassing content on social media concerning the victim are different forms of cyberbullying. The intention is to harm the recipient repeatedly day after day. Teenage minds are more often victims of cyberbullying rather than adults. They are bullied by anonymous people and are not aware of the source. The fear of being bullied in front of known people is something very scary. This makes them even more helpless and they tend to distance themselves from people surrounding them.
Many times parents are not aware that their kids are being bullied online. The kids hesitate to speak to their parents and parents find it difficult to figure out. If you are worrying whether your kid is a victim of cyberbullying, then some of the signs that would help you to understand it are as follows-
- Your kid would distance themselves from the family and spend time alone. They would feel low and nothing would interest them as such. Their favorite food or game would not make them joyous as before.
- He/She would suffer from low esteem and underestimate themselves. They would stay silent and likely to suffer from depression.
- Your kid would come up with several excuses for not going to school, meeting friends or family get together.
- Your adolescent kid would try to keep you away from their laptops, smartphones and other electronic gadgets.
- Performance of your teenage kids in school would drop down to a great extent
- Complaining frequently of illness is something very prominent. They are likely to suffer from headaches, sleep trouble, stomach upset and vomiting.
- Their health can be affected to a great extent mainly due to fear of harassment. They are constantly scared of being victimized by their cyberbully.
- It has also been seen that teenagers become addicted to drugs and alcohol, owing to the constant depression they are facing.
A cyberbully be can one anyone. It can be the one whom the target knows or somebody who is an online stranger with an intention to harm the recipient. Cyberbullying can be done by an individual or a group of people who keep their identity hidden. They make use of different means of communication technologies to bully their target. Though bullying has always been common in our society, cyberbullying is more dangerous as the victim cannot see the person who is harassing them. The victim is not aware of what humiliation they have to face next and how will they bring an impact in their lives.
Effects of cyberbullying can be dangerous. A child may not always speak up of the harassment they are facing. They will try to hide the trauma they are going through, but it is the duty of the parents to help their children this time. Cyberbullying will have a great impact on the physical and emotional well being of your child. You need to take care of their health, physical and emotional well being. Teenage minds feel low about themselves. They are scared and always with the fear of being harassed in front of their friends. It is time for the parents to be with them and support their kids through thick and thin. Bridging the gap between you and your kids is very important especially when you dear one is in their adolescent period. This is the time when parents need to be their kid’s closest friends. Spending quality time with them and explaining them the pros and cons of internet usage is very important. You need to educate them in order to prevent them from the dangers of internet. Handing a smartphone to your kid is not advised if your kid is not mature enough to use it wisely. Let your kids know you and take time to understand your kid so that they are open enough to share all the problems with you.
Monitoring your kid at every step can save them from cyberbullying. An effective monitoring app can help you to track the activities of your kids. Monitoring app logs incoming and outgoing calls, messages received and sent along with the internet browsing history. From the comforts of your home an Android parental control app can help you what your child is up to. You do not need to worry if your child uses iPhones, there are plenty of iPhone parental control apps that can log activities of your child’s phone. The gifts of technology have made it easier for parents to figure out whether your child is a victim of cyberbullying. You can check their social media profiles, pictures shared, messages and emails that can help you to understand their online activities. It would not be difficult for a parent to figure out the activities of their kids and help them accordingly.
As per recent studies, Cyberbullying is something one needs to tackle at the earliest. A good positive relationship with schools and parents can help the victims to come out of cyberbullying and gradually live a normal life.