Social networking has its biggest fans in young netizens. They remain glued to these highly interactive sites, communicating and sharing every kind of information, personal and otherwise, without much inhibition. However, it is this carefree and casual approach that is proving to be the harbinger of insidious dangers like cyberbullying!
Even before they actually know it, youngsters fall victim to relentless bullying. And, the repercussions are grave, more often than not. In most cases, young minds are unable to handle negativity stemming from manipulative actions of an adult mind. The results are high levels of anxiety, mounting depression and social isolation, sometimes even leading to suicidal attempts.
And, if you thought cyberbullying is not common enough to be concerned about, the numbers say it all!
The Newly Published Cyberbullying Report States:
- 7 out of 10 young social networkers have fallen victim to cyberbullying.
- More than one third of these are being confronted with cyberbullying very frequently.
- One fifth are actually experiencing cyberbullying, everyday.
- Youngsters are being cyberbullied most on Facebook than any other social networking platform.
- More than half of young Facebook users have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives.
- 70% young net users have confessed that acts of cyber bullying have had a devastating impact on their self esteem and social life.
Therefore, there is no denying that, cyberbullying is tightening its clutches and is rampant enough to be concerned about!
What Can We Do?
Before we start delving upon corrective measures, it is important to dig deeper into the trends. So, who are the prime sources of cyberbullying activities?
It is evident, strangers are most to blame! So, here are some protective measures to be adopted:
- Elders should guide college going kids and young adults on online privacy norms. For instance, it is important to tell them that befriending strangers, sharing personal information and photographs with them is a bad idea. It is equally dangerous to accept “friend requests” from people they do not know well. Knowing them only through the social networking interface is not enough!
- If you feel uncomfortable interacting with any of your friends or acquaintances online, it is always better to “block” them for good. It makes no sense in carrying out a relationship that
- If your children are addicted to a particular social media platform, it is a good idea to join it. This way, you can monitor his or her actions and have a check on the kind of photographs being shared on the common wall and so on. You can always regulate his actions without much effort.
Most importantly, if you have teenagers at home who are always hooked on to the computer, befriend them, in true sense of the word. Remember, it is important to be a part of your child’s life and world in such a way so that he or she confides in you always. You should be his or her pillar of strength for support!