What to do if someone is bullied by social media
social media bullying
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The Internet and Social media have become one of the most powerful forces in recent years. With a multiplicity of avenues for interaction, there tends to be an increase in the ease by which people are able to propagate hate and bullying over such avenues. Social media has many great advantages which are very well known, but also comes with some challenges. One of the challenges posed is social media bullying. So in this article today, we shall look at how we can prevent or stop bullying by social media.
Expression of Social Media Bullying
Cyberbullying by definition is the use of social media technology to harass, threaten, target, or try to embarrass another person or to aim at and damage their character or perception online.
Bullying by social media can take many forms, such as sending mean messages to people or threats to a person's life, aggressive or rude texts, tweets, posts, or messages. It can also be stealing a person's account information to publicize private information by spreading it on social media websites.
Social Media Bullying can be problematic because of many reasons due to the:
- Anonymity, the difficulty in tracing such bullying and damaging pictures, videos, posts or messages, and the fact that the people who perpetrate these acts don't have to face the victims physically to perpetuating the acts.
- Cyberbullying can be very damaging to adolescents and teenagers, as it can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even, in extreme cases, suicide.
What Can You Do If You Are Being Bullied On Social Media?
It has been established that bullying on social media is bad, and can cause lasting problems. So what can you do about it?
Well, there are several things to do if you're a teenager or adolescent who is being bullied on social media.
- The first thing is to tell someone. Telling a trusted adult is often easier said than done, but as an old adage says: a problem shared is half-solved. You may be embarrassed and very reluctant to report a bully. It is made even more difficult when you do not even know the identity of the social media bully. It is however still a wise to tell a trusted adult, who can decide on a course of action to take.
- It is also advisable to take a step away from the website or app on which the bullying occurred. Also, you should not take hasty decisions of replying or forwarding the disturbing video, picture, post, or message. It is important to not respond to a social media bully with anger, as it can cause more problems. You should also refrain from deleting the evidence of bullying, as it may be needed to help prove your case if it does get to it.
- The next step would be to report the bully. Social media websites tend to take cases of cruel and mean posts seriously and have a button for reporting such acts of bullying. The administrators of the social media site then decide on the course of action, such as removing the offensive content, blocking the bully from accessing your profile, or stopping the bully from using the social media website altogether. You can also choose to block the bully on social media.
- Lastly, as a precaution, you must always keep your private images and videos safe and away from people who might abuse or upload them online.
What Should a Parent Whose Child Being Bullied Do?
The first step in stopping social media bullying is to realize that it even exists in the first place. To do this, one has to be close to their children, as well as being observant of their behavior. Children who are being bullied often find it difficult to stay away from social media websites where the bullying occurs. Hence, it is the duty of the parent to report the bully or limit the harmful content that the child is exposed to.
This can be done by a variety of apps that are available on the Internet. One such app is FamiSafe. It is a versatile multi-platform app that helps parents control and monitors their children's use of mobile phones, the Internet, and specific apps and websites.
It contains features such as location tracking, app blocking, web filtering, screen time control, and much more. One of the striking features of the FamiSafe app is the suspicious message detection feature.
In this section of the article, you will learn how to set up FamiSafe and use it in detecting and stopping cyberbullying, inappropriate content, phone overuse, among other vices that can be perpetrated on social media, mobile phones, and the Internet. To begin to protect your children using the FamiSafe, kindly follow the following procedures:
Step 1: Register a FamiSafe Account:
This can be done by visiting their official website and going through the simple and straight forward sign up the process.
Step 2: Install the Famisafe App on Both the Parent and Children's Phones
The FamiSafe app is available on both Android and iOS devices. You can go to the Apple App Store and search for the FamiSafe app if you run an iOS device, or go to the Google Play Store if you have a phone that runs on Android.
Step 3: Set up the phones:
With the app installed on your child's phone, log into your account, identify the phone as the kid's device, and fill in your child's name and age.
It is important to grant the necessary permissions to FamiSafe.
Grant access to location and activate device administrator as well.
On the Parent's phone:
Log into your account then select the identity as the parent and connect to your child's device.
And that's it! Your FamiSafe account is all set up and ready to go!
Now, to find out what your child is up to, log in to the FamiSafe website or parent's app, and go to the dashboard. FamiSafe has a host of useful features that have been enumerated earlier in this article, which will help you to protect your kid from issues such as bullying, having access to inappropriate content, spending too much time on the phone, or getting addicted to certain apps.
For this article, however, our focus will be on how to fix the problem of cyberbullying. This is where the Suspicious Text feature on the FamiSafe app comes in.
The new Suspicious Text feature on FamiSafe makes sure parents don't have to worry and wonder if their children are being bullied or sent inappropriate messages, which constitute a large portion of weapons bullies use for social media bullying.
To activate the Suspicious Text feature, simply follow these steps:
- Go to the FamiSafe dashboard as the parent and click on Suspicious Text
- Click on the options button and then on the Suspicious Text Base, it will take you to the different types of Suspicious Texts your child has received.
- This will show a list of different kinds of damaging texts that the Suspicious Text feature flags and notifies you of. Ensure that the "Bullying" option is enabled.
Other options include the flagging of messages that contain sexual wordings, are violent or aggressive, drug-related, amative or sexually suggestive, awkward content, religion, and ethnicity, or messages that are threatening or suicidal.
The fact that about half of teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying at some point in their lives is a disturbing trend that needs to be curtailed.
So, if you find out that your child is being bullied, it is important to take it seriously and approach it with caution, definitiveness, and level-headedness.
Protecting children from the myriad of harmful information that floats on the Internet and that can be directed through social media is something that must be done.
It is also important to talk to kids about bullying by social media, and the serious and severe consequences it can have.
Other important things like not to share anything private through text or instant messaging, keeping personal information safe and away from places where they could be found should also be imbibed in children.
Social media bullying is a menace that has come with the new age of abundant connection and information. Its consequences are humongous and far-reaching. This is why it is important to protect kids from bullies, where ever they may be found, either in school or on the Internet. Also, if you find out that your child is a cyberbully, or sends inappropriate messages to his peers, it is important to not overlook it. Sit the child down, and have a calm discussion about the consequences of such actions. In all, bullying on social media is a problem that must be tackled at all costs, so as to foster a safe environment for kids to grow and flourish.