Transcript of "Learn the Early Warning Signs of Cyber Bullying"
==== ====Cyber Bullying is Real. Learn How to Stop it Now.www.tinyurl.com/CyberBullyingIsReal==== ====Without any doubt, cyber bulling is an aggressive act. Some of us learn to be more aggressivethan others, but in my opinion we can calm the cyber bully by teaching them to unlearn aggressivebehaviors? I believe it is 100% possible for anyone to unlearn anything -- Psychology 101, Watsonand Skinner on Operant Conditioning. But just like everything else there is another side to everystory.There is the victim of who is being cyber bullied, the viral technology that is being used by morethan 2 billion people (probably not all 2 billion, but definitely the majority), and parents of thevictim. Instead of focusing on the cyber bully, confronting them, and teaching them to unlearn anaggressive behavior, I will take a more passive approach and focus on the issues and solutionsfrom the perspective of the victim instead, his parents and the technology.With that being said, similar to how many things are being done on the Internet today, bullying isnot immune, and has moved onto the Internet. The Internet, and especially the social networkingplatforms (eg.Facebook, Myspace, Google+, etc.), cyber bullies now have another vehicle toabuse other kids.The following statistics depict the seriousness of cyber bullying.- More than 20% of kids ranging from 11-18 years, randomly selected to participate in a surveyindicated that they were victims of cyber bullying.- More than 93% of kids between 12 and 17 use the Internet, and 70% of those kids on theInternet use social media like Facebook and Myspace. These social media technologies assist inthe viral nature of spreading this online harassment.- About 71% of teens think that blocking abusive messages is the most effective way to preventand stop Internet-based bullying.- Recent statistics admit that half of these incidents go unreported. Cyber bullying statisticsindicate even less of these are reported.The Cyber Bully Victim - Early Warning SignsAs a parent of the victim, it is exceptionally imperative to be aware of the early warning signs,symptoms, and reasons before staging any intervention behind cyber bullying.Firstly, as a calibration, a definition of cyber bullying -- it can be defined as any act carried out onthe Internet to humiliate, hurt or harm another person. While people of all ages can be subjected to
these harmful acts, there is no need to elaborate how important it is to make sure that your kidsare safe from becoming a cyber bully victim - Im sure youve heard the saying "Bulliers oftenbecome the bullies", and we do not want our kids to become either one. If it does happen, we wantto know how to fix it, elegantly, calmly, and passively.The signs that the cyber bullied kid shows may not seem that obvious at first. Even thoughparenting is tough work -- much guesswork, just in time learning, and at times it seems like youneed to have a sixth sense about your kids disposition. Well, this is one of those times when youmay have to use your intuitive skills to see the signs your cyber bullied kid is trying to show you.Please keep mind that the online form of the act is not really that different from bullying in person.It just has another medium to communicate and spread the bullys message - the Internet. So howyou handle it, is very similar to how you would handle the bullying in the offline world.Your intuition will tell you when something is not quite right with your kid. For example: Your childspends every waking moment in front of technology (thats another story), and all of sudden, oneday you notice that your kid does go near a computer or the Internet. That may be ok for one day.However, if that behavior persisted for a few days, then you would probably be concerned. If youare like me, then you would think "thats a little strange"; And thats what I call "parents intuition" -that 6th sense I mentioned above. Every parent has it, and you need to listen to it. Early warningsigns will be part of your intuition. Other warning signs exist too. Well take a look at what signs thevictim shows, the technology they use, and actions you can take to stop, or at least, prevent cyberbullying.What Is Normal?Normal is relative word. Every kid will have their own norm, and you, as a parent, need tounderstand your kids normal Internet activity. How often they usually use the Internet? What arethey doing on the Internet? Do they use cell phones or other devices to connect onto the Internet?These questions will help you establish your own kids norm.Keep in mind that the 13+ year olds on the Internet and who use social networking applications isa huge and growing force. The amount of hours that they spend on their social networkingplatform has also increased dramatically over the years. Once you understand your kids normalsocial networking usage, their normal online behavior will become obvious and yo will be able toidentify the signs a lot easier.If your child suddenly seems to withdraw from the Internet, you should assume that they may beexperiencing some sort of issue. You should, however, recognize that there are other ways toconnect to the Internet, not just through conventional devices like PC, MAC, Desktop/Notebook,etc. It may look like your child has withdrawn, but in fact they are connecting through anothermedium.The child can connect to the Internet using, for example, a cell phone. In fact the number ofInternet connected cell phones is growing steadily, and kids are avid users of cell phones toconnect to the Internet. Just like desktops and notebooks, this is one of the benchmarks you needto understand in order to gauge your kids normal Internet behavior. On the other hand, its alsoimportant to recognize that your kid may be a cell phone cyber bully recipient.
Normal SignsCyber bullying may cause the victim to withdraw from everyday tasks -- Just another sign that achild may be an anxious target. We should understand that teenagers and pre-teens sometimeswithdrawal, even for no apparent reason. Withdrawal under normal circumstances is typicallydirected towards parents and family members, while they will continue with normal interactionswith their peers. Acts of cyber bullying, on the other hand, may cause a child to become withdrawnfrom their friends too. Again, another sign of being targeted, but also a way to understand yourkids normal baseline.In most cases, bullies (online or offline) want to give the impression that they are superior bypoking fun (often via very hurtful methods) at others. A kid who becomes embarrassed or is madeuncomfortable due to these episodes, may have difficulties facing their friends (who may havelaughed or observed the incident itself) or their parents (who, may not fully comprehend thesituation). The victims rarely speak about the bullying incidents to friends and family, because theyfear that the situation may get worse, and the situation will just continue.Private and Public FiguresThe cyber bully can make themselves and the issues seem invisible (Technically, however, theyboth can be tracked). The invisibility provides the illusion of anonymity to the cyber bully. Theattacks, for example, could take place in private message boxes, well out of sight from everyoneelse. The harassment may come in the form of offensive messages, foul language, and evenviolent threats. These private attacks hide the cyber bully from the public, and may leave thevictimized child scared, worried, and even lonely. It is know that a child who is being subject tosevere cyber bullying may display extreme frustration, anger, sadness, or personality changes.The worst part of this, is that these threats takes place behind closed doors, away from the public,and very hard to identify.Public cyber bullying allows the perpetrator to be visible. By nature of technology, those whoparticipate in cyber bullying are able to spread the word in a viral nature - exponentially. Theissues & impact can become more dangerous than that of the invisible person. As an example,the Phoebe Prince suicide case was a public cyber bully situation that got out of hand.Recognize the CallMost kids are not well equipped to stop the harassment by themselves, but depending on theirage, they will probably rationalize the situations to different degrees. Some may say they canhandle it themselves. Some will probably retreat. Some may say that they can handle itthemselves, but in reality they need help. Your job will be to recognize that they need help.The Trusted Call For HelpYour kid has just moved out of their normal behavior range, and has retreated. Your intuition tellsyou that you need to start a well guided conversation with your kid. By that time, hopefully both ofyou have a trusting and open relationship. A lot will depend on the trust factor alone, especiallywhen it comes to your kids wanting to depend on your help. Keep in mind that your kid hasprobably used your help in the past to resolve a difficult situation for them. So, why should this
situation and the techniques be any different? Trust will help resolve the cyber bully situation.Even though listening plays an exceptionally large part in your understanding of the situation, itsas important to guide the conversation in a direction that you need to - To resolve the issue youneed to get to the root cause. Youll probably have to do some digging and mining of informationto formulate the situation properly.You will probably need access to your kids cell phone, Facebook account, and whatever else isnecessary to resolve the situation. Ask your kid to help with this. Reassurance is also key. Yourkid may not want to share anything with you at first, but reassurance will go a long way. Let yourkid know that they are in safe hands and step them through your intent and how you plan toresolve the situation.So far, you can probably tell that the solution lies within Parenting 101. The only differencebetween now and then is before your parenting skills were used face-to-face with people, and thistime you are dealing with a combination of face-to-face and the Internet world. It is time to movethose parenting skills over to the online world.Forget the technology for now. Most importantly, try establishing the impact that the cyber bullyingon your kid - their fears, concerns, who may be bind the acts, and as many details possible to puttogether a coherent story.The easiest (yet still difficult and cumbersome) of the situations to handle is if the cyber bully islocated at the same school as your kid. After getting all the facts, I would just walk into the school,speak with the Principal, and get it the situation fixed. On the other hand, the more difficultsituations may require a custom fix - legal, cyber bully family, another country, etc.Pass Down The WisdomIts your obligation to ensure that your kid is being guided them emotionally as well as technically.Im fortunate enough to be able to handle the parenting & the technical part equally. In fact somemay say Im stronger technically, only because Ive had more experience in that domain. I will,however, help you through the technical stuff. It is important that you to learn about the technologythat your kids are using. Its not as scary as it seems - parenting skills are scarier.From a technical perspective you can help your kid lock down their technology, give them usageguidelines, and guide them on the correct way to use the technologies. You just need to makesure you understand sufficient information in order to guide them correctly. Get into their world.Not only will it help you understand what they are doing with the technology, but it can be fun too.Most kids are avid technology users & use the Internet extensively. You should share some oftheir excitement.If you need a technical boost, the Internet has an ample supply of anything you want to knowabout anything -- available at all times. If your kid uses Google + as a social tool, then key in"Google + tutorial" in a search engine of your choice. You may be overwhelmed by the number oftutorials available, but my guess is that by the end of the tutorials you will have sufficientinformation to help your kid setup Google + correctly. Search for tutorials on the different Internettools your kid uses.
Engage your kid in the different cyber bullying scenarios and what they may be able to do toresolve the issues. Teach them about appropriate Internet and mobile phone usage. Put them in aposition that they are better prepared to avoid or fix cyber bully incidents. Pass down & educateyour kids, with the knowledge you picked up along the way.Unfortunately, every situation will be different -- different circumstances, different ages, anddifferent people with different personalities. The human component is the wild card, but a littlecommon sense, an evaluation of each situation, and acting on the information you have. As youcan see, there is no secret formula to handle to human side of the equation of cyber bullying.Technology, on the other hand, is more black and white. From a perspective of guiding andmanaging the safety of your kids on the Internet, you will need to get sufficient knowledge (and it isnot a lot) to understand what your kids are doing on the Internet. Once you are over the educationhump you should be able to manage and guide them in areas like: How to set privacy settings onyour social network accounts, how to remove or turn off Geo tagged information from pictures andvideos, how to enable a private and secure GPS, how to manage Internet and cell phone usage,and how to deal with cyber bully texting, etc. Again, I urge you to search the Internet for tutorialson any of the topics mentioned in this paragraph.It is imperative to guide children correctly - emotionally and technically. If they are unable tomanage their own technology - cell phone, Internet usage, desktops, game consoles, etc. thenreserve a little time for your technical boost. By guiding them to manage their technology correctlyyou will have battled a big chunk of stopping the terrorizing. Emotionally, is different story, and thatcomes to trust, openness, and basically parenting 101. Educate your kid about social networkprivacy. Teach them not to add untrusted friends to their social network. Make sure theyunderstand how to lock-down their social network settings in order for private information toremain private. They need to manage their cell and desktop Internet usage. Make sure theyunderstand when its time for light out. Teach them how or how not to respond to cyber bullythreats - not responding is often the best approach. Let them know that they should ask for yourassistance at any time to resolve a cyber bully incident. The knowledge you pass down will makeyour kid more independent, and safer on the Internet.The combination of identifying the early warning signs, having a trusted and open relationship withyour kid, and emotional and technical guidance seems (at least to me) a solid approach to stop thecyber bully.Gary Hyman is an authority on The Cyber Bully. He helps keep kids safe on the Internet. For tips,advice, and tools to protect your kids on the Internet please visit Kids Internet Safety.EZArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gary_Hyman
==== ====Cyber Bullying is Real. Learn How to Stop it Now.www.tinyurl.com/CyberBullyingIsReal==== ====