Article:CYBER BULLYING | Duglas Joseph

Rani, a Class XII student, from a reputed school in the city is equally brilliant in academic and co-curricular activities. She is school topper and expected to come out with flying colours in the board exam. Prior to the approach of her exams, her parents noticed a sudden change in her behaviour, as she became very quiet and subdued, lost her appetite, and appeared tensed and worried most of the times.
After a lot of probing, she confessed to being a victim to cyber bullying, as someone had impersonated her and created a fake account on a social networking site, and was posting derogatory and insulting information. Such an emotional abuse made her vulnerable to experiencing depressive symptoms, and her teachers advised her to seek professional help from mental health experts.
However, the surprising thing is that, such repeating cases would not deter teenagers from the careless usage of internet and social media. My experiences as a teacher and personal inter action with students brought an understanding that majority of youngsters are unaware of the dangers of reckless surfing of internet. “Cyberbullying” is when someone, is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another using the Internet, social media and mobile phones. As the children and adolescents’ access to technology is increasing in nowadays, cyber-bullying is becoming a growing concern.”
Recent studies show that Most of the time cyberbullying goes unreported. The younger generation hides their traumatic experience from anyone that can help to prevent the bullying from occurring and from getting worse. Between 20% and 40% of adolescents are victims of cyberbullying worldwide. The need of the hour is to raise awareness among parents, teachers, students and authorities as a whole.
The role of teachers, parents, teens and Government to prevent Cyber bullying.
1. Parents should monitor the social media and other online interactions of their kids and insist not to share any personal information such as telephone number, location and e-mail ID. Don’t allow under aged kids to open social media accounts.
2. The digital illiteracy of parents is a matter of concern. Parents should try to learn how various social networking websites work. Become familiar with Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter. Parents must see their kid’s profile page.
3. Encourage children to read newspapers and watch T.V news. It helps them to aware of cyber bulling cases and its dangers. Talk regularly and specifically with your children about online issues.
4. Spent time with children to listen their concerns. Build trust with children. Discuss rules for online safety and Internet use.
5. Tell your children not to respond to any cyberbullying threats or comments online. However, do not delete any of the messages. Instead, print out all the messages, including the e-mail addresses or online screen names of the cyberbully. You will need the messages to verify and prove there is cyberbullying.
6. School authorities should conduct awareness classes by experts for teachers, parents and students
7. Don’t threaten to take away your children’s computers if they come to you with a problem. This only forces kids to be more secretive.
9. Talk to your school’s counselors so that they can deal the issue professionally.
10. If there are threats of bullying continues, the matter should be reported to the police.

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