Children will be spending a lot of their time in front of digital screens during the summer. Parents, do you know what apps they are using? Also, are they safe from cyber-bullying?
“We have to remember the internet is worldwide and it’s open to anyone,” said Leslie Anderson.
Cyberbullying is on the rise worldwide. About 60% of teens said they had experienced online abuse. Anderson says cyber-bullying is becoming more harmful than face-to-to face bullying.
“It’s shaming, embarrassing, also causing emotional harm to a child,” explained Anderson. “Now take that and put it on social media, or other forms of the internet.”
While bullying has always been one causal cruelty, it has been almost impossible to escape on these popular social media sites.
“Your Instagram, Facebook, Snap-chat, anything your kids have access to,” said Anderson.
Anderson told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, parents should constantly be aware of what their child is doing. she says teens are now using acronyms to throw their parents off. like, WTTP, LH6, and LMIRL —meaning let’s meet in real life.
“That one, in particular, is scary because that will reveal that child probably has been talking to someone on a chat-room,” explained Anderson. “They possibly don’t know this person if they are saying, let’s meet in real life.”
Cyber-bullying comes with consequences, potentially someone harming themselves or others. The life, relationship, and parent coach encourage parents to talk with their kids before they surf the web.
“Just because someone else is doing it, it’s not okay,” said Anderson. “Not to join in if it is the popular thing to do in school.”
Experts say 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber-bullying. About 75% of students admit they have visited a website bashing another student.
Photojournalist: Will Baker