4 Facts About Online Bullying and How to Prevent It

Cyber-bullying is a serious and growing problem amongst teenagers and many of them aren’t taking action when they see it happening. Here are some facts about the growing trend and how it can be prevented.

Photo by FixersUK

Think Before Posting

Online communication is void of tone and expression that is present in face-to-face conversation. Thus, messages can be misinterpreted online. Likewise, we can post something that will hurt someone without considering the potential consequences. Reread your messages before you post or send them, and consider whether you’re hurting anyone by sending your message out to the internet. Even if you’re not sure if it could hurt someone, it’s best to keep comments to yourself. Photo by Fort Meade

Don’t Overshare

With all the different apps, websites and social media accounts teens have access to, it’s easy to start over-sharing information. Not only can your constant Facebook updates make you a target for bullying, but the wrong person can get their hands on your personal information. Before you post something, consider whether you really need to share it or if it’s best to keep it to yourself or between a few close friends. Photo by GoodNCrazy

Not So Funny

More than a third of teenagers in the U.S. have received threatening messages online, and over half of teens have engaged in and been bullied online. Sending people mean messages or posting embarrassing photos of others on the internet can hurt their feelings. Even if you’re not intending to be mean, you can be labelled as a bully.

Photo by uberculture

Talk to Your Teen

If you’re a parent, talk to your teen about proper online behavior. Educate them on cyber-bullying, what it looks like and what to do if they see it happening. Ask them for their passwords (in case of emergency), “friend” or “follow” them on their social media accounts and limit their time online to prevent them from bullying or being bullied. Photo by ** RCB **

If You See Cyber-Bullying…

If you’re a teen and you know of a cyber-bullying situation, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell a teacher or parent. Not enough kids are vocal about these problems and people can end up getting seriously hurt. You can remain anonymous or put your face out there and advocate for a bully-free internet—either way, you’re making the right choice and a difference in the online community. Photo by Summer Skyes 11