Social media and technology are ever-present in teens’ lives. While this can be beneficial for communication, it can have some downfalls – like cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can be harmful to anyone of any age. To maintain a safe online experience, it is crucial to be proactive and educated on how to prevent cyberbullying. Here are some tips on how to protect ourselves and the ones we love.
Choose friends and connections wisely.
On social media, we must be selective with who we add or friend. It is important to accept friend requests from only the people we know and trust in real life. Also, remember not to share personal information online, even with people we know. Sharing information can be used against us by cyberbullies.
Be mindful of posting.
It is important to think twice before posting on social media. Doing so may prevent teens and kids from posting things they might regret later. Taking the time to think about what we post can help determine whether it is something we want to say publicly.
Refuse to respond.
Regardless of all the precautions we can take to avoid bullying, an online presence still puts us at risk. If it does happen, one of the best ways to diffuse it is to simply not respond. Cyberbullies are looking for an emotional response, but if your child simply does not respond, it leaves the cyberbully looking at a one-sided communication. In the meantime, screenshot and save the encounter. This may be needed for the situation to be reported.
Be an upstander, not a bystander.
Just like bullying in real life, it is important to not be a bystander. If we witness cyberbullying, show support for the victim. This can foster an online community of empathy and respect.
Whether you are looking to protect your child in this digital age, or have already experienced cyberbullying, it is never too late to implement strategies to prevent cyberbullying. Let’s be responsible digital citizens, spread kindness, and take a stand against cyberbullying to make the internet a safer place for all.