07-15-2022 03:03 PM - edited 07-15-2022 03:06 PM
In light of a recent celebrity drama involving an adult singer and a teenage actor in the US, we wanted to have a chat about cyberbullying. While social media offers us a place to connect and interact with others super easily, when online interactions become nasty it can make social media feel like a really unsafe place. Like any form of bullying, cyberbullying is really distressing to deal with, so it is important to know how to support your teen if it happens to them.
Cyberbullying involves all forms of bullying that takes place online and is a common concern among young people, affecting 1 in 5 young Australians. It can look like receiving intentionally hurtful messages, spreading rumours, sending images or videos to embarrass someone, or using fake profiles to embarrass or intimidate someone. Regardless of how it is received, it is really distressing to experience. Cyberbullying is especially challenging to deal with because it can be public and seen by many, and others tend to jump on the bandwagon and join in. It can be really difficult to control and escape from.
There are a number of ways you can support your teen experiencing cyberbullying, you can read about some strategies here. Zoe shares her story here about how her and her mother worked through the impact of cyberbullying together. How might you support your teen if this happens to them?
You may also be wondering how you can work with your teen to make their social accounts as safe as possible. Selecting the right privacy settings, and managing interactions using control functions, improve the safety of the social account. Control functions include blocking a user, deleting a comment or reporting a user, to name a few. Keep in mind that if your teen has an account on multiple platforms, each comes with its own privacy settings and control functions. Learn about how you can help manage your teen's Instagram account using a Parents Guide to Instagram here. Instagram also recently launched parental controls, enabling parents to link to their child’s account and access supervision tools, you can find more information about this here.
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