Friday, 24 February 2017

Cyber Bullying

Yesterday I watched an interview on This Morning on the subject of cyber bullying. If you haven't seen it then you can find it hereIt completely broke my heart and it has stuck with me ever since so that's why I decided to write a post on it.

The two mother's described losing their children after they were driven to suicide due to constant cyber bullying. I think the reason it is bothering me so much is that one day my children will grown up, be teenagers and they will live in an even more digital age than we do now. And that frightens me so much.

The thought that there are people out there who pick up their phone just to make someone else's life unbearable is incomprehensible. I found the following description of cyber bullying on the NHS website.

  • emailing or texting threatening or nasty messages to people
  • posting an embarrassing or humiliating video of someone on a video-hosting site such as YouTube
  • harassing someone by repeatedly sending texts or instant messages through an app or in a chat room
  • setting up profiles on social networking sites, such as Facebook, to make fun of someone
  • "happy slapping" – when people use their mobiles to film and share videos of physical attacks
  • posting or forwarding someone else's personal or private information or images without their permission – known as "sexting" when the content is sexually explicit
  • sending viruses that can damage another person's computer
  • making abusive comments about another user on a gaming site
The thought that anyone could do any of the above is totally beyond me but at the same time I am not naive and I know that it is happening every minute of everyday. Children need to be encouraged to think about the impact their messages may have, there are consequences to their actions. Unless the subject is highlighted on such TV programs such as This Morning we just don't hear about it. When I was at school it wasn't cool to be kind it was cool to be a bad ass but back then social media wasn't a 'thing'. 
Because of the increase of social networking sites cyber bullying is now on the increase. 

(Picture from pinterest)

For now we encourage our children to always be kind and when the time is right and they are older we will talk to them about staying safe online. This is a subject that is taught in some schools but not all of them. Hopefully in time it will become a mandatory subject in all schools.

It costs nothing to be kind. One word, a smile or a simple gesture can change someones entire day. You never know what they could be going through behind closed doors.  

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