5 Telling Signs of Cyberbullying
- Deleted Accounts
- Strong Reaction to Social Media
- Loss of Self-Esteem
- Change in Device Usage
Parents may be curious about the signs of cyberbullying, as more and more kids have access to electronic devices these days. This type of teasing can be difficult to spot. It's different than bullying face to face in the school yard. In fact, parents may not even be aware their child is being bullied in this way due to the shame and insidiousness that can be attached to it. It's even possible to think a child is well-liked due to an increase in social media followers or "friends." However, this might just mean that more kids are looking for the opportunity to partake in the abuse. Read on to discover some ways online bullying can be spotted.
1. Deleted Accounts
If a child or teen suddenly deletes their social media accounts, this could be a sign of a problem. When online bullying overwhelms a kid, removing their online presence can be a way to quickly avoid the problem. Look further if this type of action is taken. It could mean online harassment is taking place.
2. Strong Reaction to Social Media
Signs of emotional distress, like anger, shame or sadness, immediately following social media use may indicate that cyberbullying has just taken place. If a child closes the laptop or tosses the phone aside, looking shaken, this could be cause for alarm and is a red flag to keep in mind for future reference. Parents may wish to speak to the child right away if there seems to be a great deal of distress or simply allow some quiet time alone if that seems the better option.
One of the biggest signs of cyberbullying is evasiveness when asked about their day or, specifically, about their social media use, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center . One-word answers or trying to avoid the subject can be clues that there's a problem. Most kids have lots to say about their social media lives, as this tends to be a place where a great deal of interaction and communication occurs for kids. Evasiveness can mean they're embarrassed about something.
4. Loss of Self-Esteem
If a kid suddenly seems to feel bad about themselves or their place amongst their peers, parents may wish to press further on the issue. Cyberbullying attacks a child or teen's self-esteem by making them a target to their peers, usually through pointing out some perceived flaw. Putting themselves down or making blanket negative statements about other kids might be an indication of being teased.
5. Change in Device Usage
A red flag of cyberbullying can also be a change in electronic device usage. If a child begins to avoid computer or smartphone use, enquire further about this. Look for the explanation. It should seem a bit fishy if a kid who used to be online constantly suddenly decides not to visit social media accounts.
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Teasing is a rite of passage in childhood and adolescence. It happens. However, online harassment adds an added layer to the problem and is something that should be taken seriously. Hopefully, these important signs of cyberbullying will help to begin important conversations on this subject.