Social Networks and Cyber bullying – What Should Parents Do?
When the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge decides to talk about Cyber-bullying instead of advancement ion technology in the presence of founder of Facebook, Twitter and SnapChat, you should know for a fact that things are not as great as they were deemed to be. In the past few years there have been countless debates and programs to stop people from participating in cyber-bullying and help the victims of cyber-bullying in moving on and getting past the trauma they have faced. While tons of efforts are being made as already mentioned, they are not enough in any way because of the unprecedented increase in the number of people joining the various social media platforms today. Let’s look at the statistics for a second, as of April 2016,
- Facebook has 1,590 million monthly active users. Additionally, according to their Newsroom, Facebook is recorded to have almost 1.65 billion users based on the tally conducted by them on 31st of March, 2016 since it was launched 12 years ago.
- Ever since its launch 10 years ago, Twitter is reported to have 320 million monthly active users.
- Whatsapp is the second most used social media platform with 1000 million monthly active users.
- Instagram has about 400 million monthly active users while SnapChat has 200 million monthly active users.
As we speak, this number is increasing every single day. While most people using these platforms are there to spread positivity and good in the world, not all of them are angels. They are so good at what they do, spreading hate and misery everywhere they go, that they have been appropriately named as “trolls”. Trolls consider themselves better and superior to everybody else since they can hide behind a computer screen and spew all kinds of negative comments all over the social medial.
Trolls also tend to be cyber-bullies since they are the one who go around bullying their peers, not out of a superiority complex, but because of jealousy as studies have shown. Bullies tend to be quite insecure about their social standing, thus they believe in tearing other people’s confidence and self esteem down to nothing in order to boost theirs. With many social media platforms to troll, these cyber-bullies believe themselves to be invincible, since according to them nobody can touch them, thus they cannot be hurt in any way at all, since all they are doing is ruining other pride and ego, not physically harming them in any way at all.
Cyber-bulling and Parents
This is probably the reason why children who are being cyber-bullied never come to their parents. Parents usually think highly of their children and children, who take pride in their parents see them, tend to do everything in their power to keep up that image and never let them down. Thus, since most children believe that telling their parents of their cyber-bullying issues will be like letting their parents down, so they keep quiet and silently endure the torture.
This is where the “parenting” role of parents actually comes into play. As parents they need to understand what their child is feeling and the inner turmoil he or she is going through without needing to be told. Thus, here is what parents can do.
- Try talking to their children. Even though there is a very good chance that their children are not going to spill everything on the first try but it is important to let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
- Look for signs. Even though children do not like when their family members follow them on various social media profiles or are friends with them, being friends with them and following them provides children with ample opportunity to look at what is going on as most trolls tend to leave public comments rather than private messages.
- If you feel a chance in your child’s behaviour that should be another sign that something is going on that is deeply disturbing your child. Therefore, it’s time that you discreetly look into the matter.
While physical monitoring is always acceptable and a good way to keep an eye on your children, it doesn’t seem enough in any way in this age of technology. It’s high time for you to invest into parental monitoring applications and weed the truth out to keep your child safe.