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I often ponder over issues kids are facing today and cyberbullying appears frequently in my mind. This problem is seen on the news, online, and discussed amongst our youth. I decided to research the topic and found a book, Digital Safety Smarts. Preventing Cyberbullying by Mary Lindeen, which contains an abundance of information. Below are some tips I gathered from this informative book.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any bullying that happens online. An example is making insulting remarks to another’s email address or social media page. One can also bully by sending a virus to attack a computer. These types of acts can cause kids to become upset, embarrassed, and afraid to go online.
Other ways kids may experience cyberbullying is to be blocked from an online group. Someone may try to get a child in trouble for something they did not do. Another form of cyberbullying is spreading online rumors about others. This problem affects kids of various interests and backgrounds.
Reasons for Cyberbullying
There are many reasons cyberbullying happens. The person involved in the activity thinks their victim deserves it and wants to teach that person a lesson. Cyberbullying can make a powerless child feel powerful because they control others through technology. Peer pressure may encourage kids to tease others in order to be accepted within a group. Some kids are jokesters and may not realize they are hurting others with their comments.
Why is this important?
Kids who are being cyberbullied have difficulty focusing in school. Their grades may go down or they may drop out of school. My former co-worker’s brother committed suicide because of cyberbullying.
Some victims may become depressed. They don’t trust others and become lonely. Eating and sleeping can become a challenge. It is common for kids to turn to alcohol or drugs to mask their sadness and hopelessness.
There are many ways to deal with and prevent cyberbullying. Next week we will discuss some of these tactics.
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