Social media has become such a central part of everyday life. It is used by business professionals, celebrities, athletes, news reporters, students, parents, teachers, and anyone who has access to these channels. It is what enables us to catch up with an old friend or read about a breaking news story halfway around the world. Sounds great, right? Well, not entirely.
While it’s true that the development of these networks has led to technological advances and innovation, it has also sparked an entirely new phenomenon that generations before us had never seen. And no, I’m not referring to Apple’s new iWatch. It is something so ugly and so abhorrent that it has claimed the lives of countless victims around the world.
Cyberbullying has become the newest fad, and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give bullies a way to prey on innocent victims at their leisure. Won’t they get in trouble, you might ask. This also makes it easier for bullies to carry out their ruthless tactics, and for others to join in.
Another factor that poses a problem is the victim’s willingness to report the bullying. In a 2014 survey, more than half of the participants said they never confided in their parents when cyber-bullying happens to them (http://nobullying.com/cyber-bullying-statistics-2014/ ).
Young people especially, are embarrassed by the things that are said about them, and don’t feel comfortable talking to adults about this issue. This is why as parents, it’s important to look out for warning signs of bullying in your kids. In a world where technology is a fundamental aspect of life, it’s easy to forget the negative consequences that can come from it. The fact that cyber-bullying has become so prominent over the last decade is problematic. It has been linked to low self-esteem, depression, and other psychological issues.
While awareness for cyber-bullying has increased, the matter is still far too prevalent. It’s not something that can be eliminated overnight, but with the help of companies like My Social Sitter, we can work together to take down the bullies, identify and educate communication that is discovered to be harmful.