“If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.”
Social media is a place where perfect people exist (or that’s what it may seem). We post photos online of our picture-perfect vacations, recent achievements, and latest updates. What could go wrong?
Kids these days call people who knock or trash your work online a “troll.” Tolls are people who pick a fight with you or create unreasonable drama online. Sometimes “trolling” will cause individuals to leave social media due to harmful threats or unnecessary bullying.
Teensafe.com suggests that 87% of teens witness some sort of cyber-bullying during their youth, and 34% have been victims.
Teenagers are growing to accept cyber-bullying as a social norm, especially online. The constant mocking and verbal and emotional abuse online can lead a teen down a slippery slope to depression. Nearly 30% of teenagers who have experienced online bullying have experienced suicidal thoughts.
Cyberbullying ranges from people saying nasty things on your photos about your appearance to much more aggressive forms, like posting screenshots of a friend’s conversation that was not meant for the public eye. Did you know, Twitter users are allowed 140-characters to say and do as they please, many times, resulting in a “tween storm” of nasty conversation.
In a more perfect world, social media would get rid of anonymity, which allows people to comment anonymously online. People who post anonymously often feel as though they are destructible because their reputations cannot be harmed.
The easiest way to solve the problem is not to be a part of the problem.
Choose to educate teens in your life about the importance of speaking to each other with respect and kindness. There is a way to argue or make a point without putting someone down.
Follow this rule to end social media cyber-bullying, “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” This is the best way to solve this problem (by not being a part of it). Someone may post something that really gets your blood boiling, help teach kids the best way to counter the issue is to not respond; it takes two to start a fight – resist, erase and swipe away from the issue. Keep educating and keep kindness your number one goal in conversation.
For additional resources please visit these sites:
- Peak Performance in Cedar park after school programs
- Ridgefield Recovery Village offering great information and answers to this unfortunate issue