Technology has brought many positives in our lives: it has opened our eyes and the world to different cultures, people, and beliefs. However, it has also opened the doors to forms of bullying that didn’t previously exist. They have only popped up in the last ten years or so, meaning most of us haven’t really dealt with them before.
Our kids are being bullied via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and secret apps that we don’t even have access to – and while it can be from kids at school, bullying occurs all over the internet for many reasons.
Cyber bullying is a real thing: it doesn’t build character, it isn’t something that will pass, and it’s a problem that we all need to give our attention. You can support the “No Cyber Bullying” movement at TeeSpring. Here are seven scary statistics that every parent deserves to know about.
1. 43% of children ages 8-18 have been bullied online
Those children aren’t just the kid with the glasses who sits in the front of the bus nor is it the little overweight girl who hangs out by herself at recess. The truth is most of our children are either bullying or being bullied on the internet.
To make matters worse, 1 in 4 of those have had it done on a repeated basis.
2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online
If you still think that your child hasn’t seen bullying, take into consideration that 80% of students have social media accounts – leaving a very small chance that your child hasn’t seen it or they are not aware of what bullying is. This is more often true when your child is the one being the bully.
Sit down and have a genuine conversation with your son or daughter about what happens on their Facebook timelines, in their Tweets, and on other apps.
3. More girls are cyber bullies than boys (59% girls and 41% boys)
Girls, especially teenage girls can be extremely vicious if they want to be. Girl bullying is a little different from boy bullying and often doesn’t present itself in an obvious way. Make sure you pay attention to your daughter’s behavior to see if something is happening online.
As an aunt, I remember seeing my niece staring disgustingly at her phone for hours while looking through Facebook. It turns out that some classmates were making many posts about how much fun they were having without her being around.
That sort of bullying might not be obvious, but it still hurts. If your child looks upset while looking at her phone or her computer, there’s a chance that she’s facing bullying.
4. Bully reasons: Looks (55%), Body shape (37%), Race (16%)
It’s time to get honest with yourself and know if your child has the risk factors. Just because you don’t think your child is too tall, too skinny or overweight, it certainly doesn’t mean that other people share your opinion.
My daughter was by no means overweight, but she carried a few extra pounds on her face that made her look overweight. Children teased her mercilessly about it until one summer, it disappeared. I saw an immediate change in her attitude toward school and social activities.
Children and teens can be extremely mean sometimes and even the smallest thing can become a full blown problem if left alone.