Monday Musings - How Can We Prevent Cyber-Bullying in the Social Media Age?

by Samantha on April 23, 2013

cyber bully image

It’s become all too common of an occurrence.

A child is bullied by her peers and it goes viral. Cyber-bullying occurs and a child’s life is ruined. In the worst instances of this scenario, the child does the unthinkable and takes her own life. This can’t go on. There have been too many cases of young lives tragically ended due to social media bullying.

In an age of Facebook “likes” Twitter retweets and YouTube shares, a person’s online and “real life” reputation can be destroyed in an instant. Unlike previous times where bullying happened face to face, we’ve now entered an age where destroying someone’s character is as easy as logging on to one’s computer. Cyber-bullying is the newest form of making a child’s life miserable…or worse.

Kids will be kids, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, part of being a kid is not realizing the consequences of one’s actions or having the forethought to not do something that could have serious repercussions later. What may seem like a harmless prank - sharing texts or pictures with friends - can have enough weight to change someone’s life forever.

This has to stop, but how? The genie is out of the bottle, for sure, but that doesn’t change that fact that we must do everything in our power to put it back in. Social media is here to stay; our kids should be as well. Let’s not lose yet another promising young life because of ignorance regarding the effect of sharing damaging images and information online.

The genie is out of the bottle, for sure, but that doesn’t change that fact that we must do everything in our power to put it back in. Social media is here to stay; our kids should be as well.

Accordingly, today’s Monday Musings questions are as follows:

How can we prevent cyber-bullying in this age of social media? What can parents and educators do to stop kids from using digital technology to bully other kids? What tools and approaches should we use to get our kids to realize that cyber-bullying is serious and can affect others’ lives forever? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

VIDEO: How do we stop our kids from cyber bullying or becoming victims of cyber bullies?

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Image courtesy of www.savvymom.ca

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeannette April 23, 2013 at 4:29 am

Parents need to be involved. Know passwords, check them and monitor your children…lead by example snd SHOW them examples of what happens when cyber bullying begins. If they see something tell them to report it, and support them in those tough decisions. Take responsibility for your children!!! Teach them the signs and how to block people too. If you see something out of line, take them offline! No warnings….mean business!!

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Samantha April 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

This is so true, Jeanette! So often parents are unfortunately not privy to what their kids are doing until it’s much too late. The responsibility lies with all of us who have children to make sure that we’re on top of their online actions and interactions, and that we stop any negativity or dangerous online behavior before it starts.

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Veronica R. Tabares July 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I spent a number of years as a librarian in a K-12 school. It opened my eyes to just how naive most kids are about the dangers they face in the digital age.

I created a curriculum for the students about it and talked until I was blue in the face. When it finally dawned on me that I could only really make a difference if I was able to reach a larger audience I wrote Gray Zone, a fictional account of one girl’s experience with the cyberbully problem. It will be released in January of 2014.

I plan to also create a lesson guide that can go along with it, just in case parents and educators want a little extra help.

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