According to an Ipsos Reid poll, one in five Canadian teens have witnessed online bullying so this week I want to discuss a very serious and growing problem that is plaguing youth not only in Canada but around the world: cyberbullying.
Do you remember Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old British Columbia teen who took her own life a few years ago after being bullied and blackmailed online? What about Rehtaeh Parsons, another young girl from Nova Scotia, who also committed suicide because of cyberbullying? There are countless others and not only girls but boys as well. Amanda’s death shed light in Canada on an issue that is far too common these days and helped spur the creation of Anti-cyberbullying legislation Bill C-13.
If you are the parent of a teen or know a teen that is being bullied, it’s important to acknowledge it, document the situation and report it to school officials. Sometimes it’s not always easy for teens to speak to their parents – so always ensure there is someone they trust that they can speak with.
Cyberbullying and online harassment also affect adults and according to a cyberbullying prevention organization, the advice is much the same. Take detailed notes of the situation and screen shots if possible; secondly, contact the service provider where the bullying is happening, for example, contact Twitter or your telecommunications service provider. It’s also important not to engage with online trolls as it could look like you’re flaming the fire or contributing to the problem.
I hope this post sheds light on a vital topic and if you wish to read more on cyberbullying and online harassment, you can visit the following websites:
Next week’s blog will deal with a much lighter topic: Instagram and the power of a visual follower – Stay tuned!
Social Media Component:
Stamp out #cyberbullying by refusing to stand by when you see something wrong taking place!
Have you ever though “Have I crossed THAT line?” regarding online harassment or cyberbullying. Take this self-assessment to find out where you stand on cyberbullying.