In today’s virtual world, cyberbullying can be even crueler than the old-fashioned variety and feed anxiety and depression. This form of bullying can mean sending cruel or threatening messages or pictures via texting, instant messaging, or other platforms, or posting embarrassing information in chat rooms, on social media, or other websites.
Cyberbullying is so toxic because bullies can’t see their victim’s reactions to tell when they’ve crossed the line from teasing to torment. It can occur anywhere and anytime, making targets feel vulnerable day and night.
How to Cool Cyberbullying
Kids who are bullied may hesitate to tell their parents because they’re afraid to lose their computers, smartphones, and other devices. To keep your youngsters from becoming cyber-targets or bullies:
- Set rules about how to properly use computers, cell phones, and other technology.
- Consider installing a parental monitoring program on your computer to manage online habits.
- Encourage kids not to respond to hurtful messages and instead remove the sender from their friends list, block them, and tell a trusted adult.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying by saving the screenshot, email, or text message. This can be used to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
- Call the police if a cyberbully threatens violence.