Cyberbullying Takes One Million Victims
IPads will be a staple in many schools by 2014. The Obama administration encourages it as an aid for educating our kids in the classroom. Though we want our kids to be fluent computer users, the internet is not always regulated enough for the younger generation, or at least not as much as parents would like it to be. Kids have access to technology and with that comes the use of social media. Using a computer or a mobile device provides a way for kids to be more social on line but it can also enhance a false sense of confidence and lead to cyberbullying or becoming a victim of cyberbullying.
After watching a movie on Netflix called Cyberbully, I began to think about the repercussions of social media on kids. In case you haven’t seen the movie, a high school girl gets bullied by a mysterious friend on Facebook which leads to other students chiming in and humiliating the girl. The girl gets bullied until she reaches her emotional limit. I don’t want to give the movie away but I can see how kids can get carried away. If you are angry with a friend, think of how easy it is to shoot off a text or post something in the heat of your anger. I think kids are much less likely to say hurtful things to another kid when they are face to face and have had some time to cool down.
Kids like to be plugged in. It’s fun to socialize . According to Web Wise Kids, 93% of teens ages 12-17 years old go online and 73% of kids use social networks. The average teen has 201 Facebook friends. What I find very interesting, is since 2010 the percentage of teens who own cell phones has increased by 45%. It has been found that the majority of social media activity occurs on mobile devices such as a cell phone or iPad.
What you might not know is that 97% of middle school students who participate in social media have been bullied on line. Only 10% of those students report the abuse to his or her parents. Cyberbullying is a serious form of emotional bullying that can lead to tragedy if not addressed with your children.
Take a look at this infographic on the KnowKids.com website that describes facts about bullying. You might be surprised to read. I was.
You should discuss cyberbullying with your children. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, parents can help to stop bullying on line by discussing a plan of action with them. Most importantly stay involved with your kids and tell them that you need to have access to their devices. Only 10% of students who are bullied tell their parents. Discussing a plan of action with your children can keep them safe.