Youth Will Stand Up Against Cyberbullying with YOUR Help. #TeamTELUS
Today’s youths have a much larger and more prevalent social issue to deal with than we did growing up. Even though bullying has always existed; with the digital age being all that the new generations know, it’s a breeding ground for another more serious form of bullying–cyberbullying.
Having two girls growing up in a digital world, quite frankly, scares me. The older they get, the more access they want to the online world. Opening yourself up to this world isn’t easy. Even at my age of 32, you still experience keyboard warriors and people who hide behind an anonymous avatar. Luckily, I have a great audience and it has been many years since I’ve experienced it.
When I did though, I was able to track the IP address and traced it back to a person who was once a friend. There comes a point in your life when you say enough and you put yourself first in order to be happy. When I did that, she did not like how rapidly and positively my life was changing and we fell out. It did not end well.
Soon after, the nasty and spiteful anonymous comments began. I have a tough skin and petty insults do not bother me because I know my flaws. I accept them, therefore they cannot be used against me. Once I publicly said I had their IP–it stopped as quickly as it had begun. I am a very straightforward person and I don’t take people’s nonsense. After confronting the situation and with a lot of ignoring–they just faded away.
But, this is a mentality and rationale of an adult. I couldn’t imagine being attacked online when I was a kid. Much less, what to do. New research conducted by TELUS WISE in partnership with MediaSmarts and PREVNet has found that youth believe cyberbullying is wrong and are motivated to intervene when they witness it, but would be more likely to do so if adults provided better guidance on managing interventions and were more responsive when incidents were brought to their attention.
Youth Want to Intervene.
As a parent, that gives me a bit of solace. Intervention is something that has always been accompanied with the fear of becoming the next victim. It is an issue that can carry on into adulthood if no one wants stands up to change it.
- 42 per cent of youth said they have been cyberbullied while 60 per cent said they had witnessed others being cyberbullied.
- 71 per cent of those who saw cyberbullying did something to intervene at least once.
- 90 per cent of youth said they would intervene if their family member were the target of cyberbullying while 37 per cent would intervene for someone they do not know personally.
- 33 per cent of youth said they do not intervene in cyberbullying situations because they do not believe adults give advice that helps.
- 43 per cent said they do not intervene because they believe talking to parents and teachers will change nothing.
- However, youth’s top-rated intervention strategies involved talking to an adult.
Certainly, this is a wake-up call. Youth need to be empowered and fully involved in preventing and intervening in cyberbullying. But, adults need to be more active in providing guidance and empowering youth to address cyberbullying by becoming better educated about the impact of cyberbullying and how to provide guidance when giving youth advice on how to safely intervene.
What Adults Can Do.
- Be ready to listen to your teen and be their advocate. Cyberbullying can quickly escalate and requires swift adult intervention.
- Keep a record of emails, chat room history, web postings or phone messages that you can take to your Internet Service Provider or to the police if necessary.
- Report incidents of cyberbullying to your child’s school and to your Internet service provider. School boards have Codes of Conduct that include cyberbullying. Approach the police when physical threats are involved or a crime has possibly been committed.
- Encourage your children to use their mobile devices in common areas of your home, so that you can monitor their online activity and reactions to online communication.
- Get informed about cyberbullying and how to better support the young people in your life through the resources that are available at TELUS WISE, PREVNet and MediaSmarts.
I know that being in a bullying-type of situation isn’t easy for anyone. It’s hard to be the one being bullied but, it is hard to be one standing by and witnessing the act. These statistics show that our youth want to stand up against bullying but, we have a job to help them understand that we are there for them.
What advice do you give your kids when it comes to bullying?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
This is such a great topic. We have always encouraged our kids to stand up and speak for those who are being bullied.
Wow! These percentages amaze me. The world of the Internet has definitely increased the chances of bullying and I hate that anyone would have to go through anything remotely considered bullying. My children aren't quite at an age where bullying is a reality, but as a parent, I think I would want my kids to let me know. That way I could entertain the possibility of speaking with the other child's parents and trying to work out in a civil way. I think monitoring a child's computer time and access, and just reviewing what they're actually doing online, can go a long way. Obviously, if my child were the one doing the bullying I could nip it in the butt as soon I noticed it after reviewing their online activities.
I think it is essential to do so. You do not know if they are victims or victimizing others. We are their first line of defense.
Our children know to come to us immediately if they ever feel like they are being bullied. They also know bulling someone else will not be tolerated in our home. Communication and support are both so important.
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And they are willing to stand up against it if they know we support them.
Bullying won't end until everyone stands up against it! Love that telus is doing this! Bullying sucks and needs to stop!
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So true, we have to stand up against it.
Cyberbullying terrifies me. The thought that you could be bullied in a situation where you posted something online and it's there forever. For people to continually look at and remember. It's a very vulnerable feeling I'm sure. Not to say this is the only situation in which cyberbullying would happen of course. Thanks for the tips.
It is scary to think about but, it happens so much.
Cyberbullying is so awful! My daughters are a bit to young for the internet yet, but once they start using it I'll be keeping a close eye on them. It's so sad to see how much someone can hurt someone just by the internet.
It is very important to be vigilant.
We had an incident at my kids' school just today about cyber bullying. It's a new terrain for me, as it is for the kids. Having an open conversation about it has been helpful for me.
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Oh man, that is hard to think about but, a convo is definitely essential.
It is terrible how bad bullying has become. Social media makes it so much easier for kids to be bullies. I try to talk to my kids often about the issue and how they feel they can help.
My kids are at the age now where this has come up. We try to teach the kids to treat others how you want to be treated. It is so important to monitor all the kids social media accounts.
So important! I still help Gabs with hers, so easy to become a target.
It's scary how quickly things can escalate on line. I like the tip to use internet in the common rooms.
That is always a good idea.
yesss. lets all stand up. cyberbullying is the worst because teh bully is hiding behind the computer.
I completely agree!
Its so very important to beaware of whats going on around you,cyberbullies are the worst,they feel strong when they are not seen
This is such a hard topic especially with the constant evolution of technology. But we need to continue to discuss it and create an open dialogue to help combat it.
It needs to be talked about, for sure!
Cyberbullying is such a big problem and it is so scary. I am glad people are becoming aware of how awful it is and what they can do to prevent and stop it.
So true! 😉
Cyberbullying is so horrible and so many kids hide that they are dealing with it. This is a great initiative and I definitely support it.
We have to be vigilant!
My daughter is in 5th grade and this is already happening to kids around here. It is so important to watch what the kids are up to on the internet.
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Thanks for the tips. Cyber-bullying is an issue that needs to be talked about with children and should not be taken lightly. Our city school does an amazing job at raising awareness and addresses bullying head on. It is not tolerated and thankfully, is rare at our school.
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That is great! I am glad that they are all about awareness!
I can't stand any kind of bullying, let alone cyberbullying… I love that you wrote about this topic, great post!
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All the meanness in the world is exactly why I won't agree to letting my kids have social site logins for a very long time. They need to have a better grasp of the world than the do now before they venture into the world of bullies hiding behind a screen.
Very wise words!
I never liked bullies – I see them as coward-ing behind something or some other issue.
And with today's modern technologies, it is easier than ever for them to hide.
I have seem more than my fair share of cyberbullies and honestly it drives me batty. Especially when they are grown ups too. Back when we were little we only had to be worried about the kid pushing you into a locker. Now it's much more sinister.
It drives me crazy too. I always stand up against it.
This is such an important topic. Bullying of any kind is seriously not dealt with enough but cyberbullying – I've seen it first hand with a friends child and around here not much is done. So this, is something we ALL need to stand up against!
It is sad that not more is done. We need to be more involved!
Cyberbullying is getting out of control & I agree that we need to listen as adults. Take notice and take charge before it's too late.
I've said it so many times. I'm so glad that we did not have cyberbullying when I was in school. We used AIM, but that was about it.
I've said it so many times. I'm so glad that we did not have cyberbullying when I was in school. We used AIM
Yeah, it is much harder for our kids now. We have to make sure to teach our kids.
The internet has completely added a new method of bullying for young kids. It makes me so sad. I'm glad that I didn't have to deal with that as a kid.
It is very sad!
No BULLYING should be accepted anywhere,online or in schools,its seems to be happening everywhere and you heard everyday thats its not acceptable, but it still happens….
Great post , this really worries me , I mean there were bullies when I was young but not in your own home, I worry about this alot for when my daughter is older
I do too!
Bullying has to STOP,School is just in a few weeks and i have heard stories already from parents about their kids being bullied….honestly i think they should be moved to a school of their own
That is so sad! It really needs to stop!
Bullying really scares me,there have been kids die because if it.If you look around you can see adults bullying calling each other down making rude remarks….we see it on TV ,people running for office bullying each other….not a good message to be sending to kids
Definitely not a good message!
We ALL need to stand up and STOP bullying,honestly kids are dying because of it
I completely agree!
I completely agree!