cy·ber·bul·ly·ing By: Norah Philip

A friendly guide for parents! Help keep your kids safe when they use the internet!

More than 1 in 3 teens experience cyber-bullying in their lives. It could just be once or it could be a recurring situation. Most of the time, parents are oblivious to this behavior. Only 10% of parents are aware that their kids are being cyber-bullied.

Some Cyber-Bullying stats that you should be aware of

Bullying has been around for so long. You may be more familiar with your typical shove in the locker. Or maybe you were called horrible names or even just came home with a black eye. Physical bullying may hurt more at the time, but it won't hurt for too long. Cyber-bullying can really mess with your mind, especially if it is recurring and in most cases, it is. The pain can stick with you and can scar you for a life time. Kids use technology and can take bullying to a whole new level.

The victims in the act of cyber bullying most of the time tend to keep to themselves and become extremely introverted. Telling someone scares them because they are scared of being judged by their loved ones. They are scared that their loved ones are going to call them things like "weak" or "not put together". What they don't know is that they could get the help that they need. Most victims also forget that you can block and report users on most social media and other websites that they may be getting cyber bullied on. Also, most victims try to fight back at first which can provoke the attacker. They end up getting really angry at you fighting back so they will try to make you unhappy at all costs.

Most bullies tend to become bullies because they have been bullied before in their lifetime or they have other issues somewhere else like at their home. They could be experiencing abuse at home or just have been bullied in their past. They want to feel superior and don't want to feel helpless and miserable so they use bullying as sort of like a defense mechanism. This is why people shouldn't bully others because it could turn the victim into a bully too. People have to be more aware of this situation as you don't know what someone is going through on a daily basis. Someone could be faking on a smile just to get through the day. Nobody should be a target for cyber-bullying and just bullying itself.

Amanda Todd was a victim to cyber-bullying and regular bullying

Amanda Todd was a girl who opened many peoples' eyes. She was being cyber-bullied by a group of people at her school. This was because she had sent a picture of herself to someone. This person put that picture as their profile picture on a social media and her whole school saw. This picture ruined her life. She ended up moving schools, but the picture just kept following her around and she was bullied at every school she went to. She decided to end her life. She tried to kill herself before by drinking bleach, but it didn't work because someone found her earlier and rushed her to the hospital. She was saved then. Before she did actually kill herself, she posted a video on YouTube about her life and her bullying story. She wrote it all on note cards. After she sent the video out, she committed suicide.

There are many ways to stop Cyber-bullying. Here are some:

1. Do not respond to the bully. Your reaction is exactly what they are looking for and it can cause them to keep firing at you.

2. Save the evidence. Take screenshots of the text messages or whatever it is so you can prove that you are being bullied instead of the other way around.

3. Tell someone you trust. Whether it may be a parent, a friend, a teacher, or a guidance counselor, tell someone so they can help you and keep you safe from the bully(ies).

4. Block the user. If the bully doesn't leave you alone, block them on all social media so they have no way of contacting you.

Citations:

http://www.connectsafely.org/tips-to-help-stop-cyberbullying/

http://www.safeteens.com/tips-to-stop-cyberbullying/

https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/

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