Introducing Teen Cyberbullying and Learning How to Prevent It
Teen cyberbullying has got a lot to do with the latest technological advancements of the digital world. Long gone are the days when teens used to bully others outside the classrooms or in the school backyard. Now, with the invention of social media and other online platforms, teens have gotten easier opportunities to bully others through the means of digital devices and the internet.
Teens can easily avoid face-to-face interactions with others online and still get around to bully them whenever they want. Although cyberbullying does not include a physical component, it can still leave a severe negative impact on a teen’s mental and physiological health.
Time and again, several health experts have stressed that cyberbullying has led to serious implications on teen mental health. It can lead teens to develop feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Cyberbullying has also caused distress among teens. The severe cases of cyberbullying have also led teens to commit suicide or form suicidal thoughts. Unless you install the best spy software for Android or iPhone on your teen’s device, you won’t be able to detect cyberbullying.
Ever since the internet and social media world have taken precedence over teens’ lives, cyberbullying incidents have become increasingly prevalent. Let’s learn more about cyberbullying, educate yourself with signs of cyberbullying, and learn how to prevent your teens from it.
Introduction to Teen Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying takes place when the bully uses his superior power or social influence to threaten the weaker person through digital means such as electronic devices including smartphones and computers that have access to the internet. Cyberbullying happens through instant messages, text messages, or social media and/or gaming platforms. Cyberbullying happens when a teen bully sends or shares embarrassing, threatening, harmful, or false content about the victim online.
Teen cyberbullying also takes place when a teen bully shares the personal information of a teen with the goal of degrading or humiliating them on social media or other online forums. For instance, a teen bully can share or post an embarrassing photo or video of another teen for others to see on a social media platform. With social media and photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat, cyberbullying has become quite common among teens.
As per a recent survey, it has been found that most cyberbullying incidents take place on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. They also take place through texting, emails, and instant chats.
Where Do Cyberbullying Incidents Take Place?
Sometimes, it can become a tad challenging for parents to detect cyberbullying among teens. Face-to-face teen bullying is easy to detect but it can take some time to identify the signs of cyberbullying and to find out whether or not your teen is being bullied by someone online. Since cyberbullying doesn’t take place in person, the sense of distance in both space and time between bullies and the victims can make it a bit difficult for adults to detect the underlying cause.
Here are some of the places where cyberbullying takes place among teens commonly:
- Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, and YOLO.
- Text messages exchanged on smartphones and other electronic devices including both one-on-one text messages and group messages
- Gaming platforms or all platforms where teens go for playing online games.
- Instant chats exchanged on social media or instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, Signal, etc.
- Anonymous messaging platforms and apps such as Askfm, Kik, and Sarahah. These platforms let teens exchange messages with each other without revealing their identity.
- Email services
Different Types of Cyberbullying
If you think there is only one type of cyberbullying, you are wrong. The truth is, cyberbullying takes place in different forms. The most common types of teen cyberbullying are as follows:
- When teen posts or shares comments about another teen online that come across as mean, embarrassing, threatening, or hurtful.
- When teen shares or posts embarrassing or intimate pictures or videos of another teen on social media or other online forums for everyone to see.
- When a teen states false comments or spread rumors of another teen online that could threaten their reputation.
- When a teen asks a nasty question about another teen online that could hurt their sentiments.
- When a teen posts hateful comments or slurs about another teen’s religion, race, caste, or ethnicity online.
- When a teen threatens to hurt another teen online or encourage them to take their lives or do self-harm.
- When a teen poses as someone else online to obtain personal information about another teen or when they impersonate another teen online.
- When a teen harasses another teen online by spreading their personal information such as full name, address, credit card numbers, and phone numbers with everyone online. This is known as doxing, derived from the word “documents” and it could also lead to identity theft.
How to Prevent Teen Cyberbullying
Parents can play a pivotal role to prevent cyberbullying among teens. Being a parent, it is your responsibility to educate your teens about the correct and responsible use of the internet, social media, and other various online forums so that they can stay away from unwanted dangers.
Here are some helpful and effective ways to prevent cyberbullying among teens:
- Encourage your teens to always refrain from sharing their personal photos, videos, and other data with anyone online. They should also never share their passwords with anyone. By doing so, they can protect their personal data and prevent someone from creating a fake social media account using their name.
- Always teach your teen to think before posting or sharing something online. They should also understand that it is not wise to share anything online when they are upset or angry.
- Make your teen understand that everything they post on the internet or any social media forum will permanently stay there. Even if they delete it later from their profile, it is going to be saved somewhere in the online servers. Therefore, they should always think hard before sharing something online.
- You can also prevent teen cyberbullying if you can detect it at the right time. For that, you need to constantly monitor your teen’s online activities. By installing a free spy app for Android undetectable, you can monitor your teen’s text messages, instant chats, emails, and social media activity without them knowing. If you detect cyberbullying at the right time, you can protect your teen from getting hurt.
- While posting mean comments about someone online, your teen should imagine how they would feel if someone said the same about them. Ask this question to your teens and see how they respond.
- Encourage your teens to talk about cyberbullying openly. In case they feel someone is trying to bully them online, they should immediately reach out for your help.
- Educate your teens to report cyberbullying incidents as soon as they take place. The sooner they report the incidents, the lesser damage they have to face.