By Makaila Cheung
With technological advancements and breakthroughs happening every day, younger generations are quickly mastering how to use phones as well as computers. In the focus of creating better algorithms and updating apps, the growing issue of cyberbullying is becoming unnoticed. Cyberbullying is the act harassing someone through online platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and in many states, it is considered illegal (1). Cyberbullying usually happens through a series of private messages and can end in serious consequences. Some effects include lowered self esteem, a fear of going out, depression, or in serious cases, suicide. It is not encouraged that parents let their kids roam around online without monitoring where they are going. Many kids that are suffering from this act tend to hide it from their guardians for fear of being bullied more or simply because they think they are the ones who did something wrong.
Although the extent of bullying is underestimated, there are multiple actions parents can take to protect their child from cyberbullying. First, parents should know what their child is doing online. Know what sites they are logging onto and set up a username-password system with your son or daughter. This ensures that if you suspect your child is being bullied online, you may access their account on any social media site they use. In addition, it is important that you know their friends list on websites. Do not be afraid to ask who the person is or how your child met them. Lastly, your child should know the dangers of cyberbullying. Before signing them up for any online platform, sit them down, talk about a plan if they are ever being intimidated or teased and make sure they understand that you will be monitoring them. Online harassment is a major problem in today’s day and age, but a few precautions and extra actions could save a life.
The Law, Your Money … and You! is doing their part to educate the public about cyberbullying and has many programs in place to help with this. Be sure to like us on Facebook as we share more resources about this important topic!
(1) In all 50 states, only 34 have laws against cyberbullying. The states that DO NOT have a law against it are: Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.