One of the best ways to combat cyberbullying is to have open conversations with your children and students. To help parents and teachers keep these conversations ongoing and relevant, here are some ways cyberbullying occurs of which you might not be aware.
You can tag friends on just about every social media platform. It’s supposed to be a way to share messages or images with a specified group of people.
The problem with tagging is that some people use it in unintended and malicious ways. For instance, someone might tag another person in a post about something derogatory or insulting. Once the person gets tagged, all of their friends can see it.
Remind children that settings exist on most social media platforms that allow them to prevent someone from tagging them.
This one seems pretty harmless, right? Well, think again. Teens sometimes use this feature to taunt their peers. They unfriend them or unfollow them to send a very clear message that they should, unfairly, be considered an outcast.
This one seems even more harmless, but the key here is the intent. Sometimes students will send friend requests just to find out personal information to use against their peers. It seems like a generous gesture, but the purpose is utterly foul.
Remind them to be careful who they add as a friend on social media. If it isn’t someone you consider a friend offline, they probably shouldn’t be a friend online.
These three examples of cyberbullying make it difficult to know when these actions are malicious, but awareness here is key. If you’re aware that children are using seemingly harmless methods to attack others, you will be prepared to address them.