Post # 1
So, a conversation on one of the other threads got me thinking.
How do you define cyberbullying, and what are your experiences with it?
My daughter just went through a cyberbullying problem. Someone took one of her pictures and made a fake account on Tumblr and posted a bunch of really offensive, inflammatory statements. I kept her off of socia lmedia for longer then the majority of her friends, and we had all the obligatory talks about internet safety and the wisdom of posting 400 selfies a day. She is a few weeks from 17 now though, so she is old enough to be responsible on social media. While I was really upset when this happened, I wasn’t surprised at all. I wanted to just scream “SEE THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T WANT YOU ON HERE”. I really think those sights should be 18 and older, and actually enforce the rule. I have an anonymous fb and twitter just to keep track of what she does. To me, the bad out weighs the good by such a huge margin on all of those sites. Its like they bring out the worst in people.
I hate facebook and twitter so much. I hate them with the passion of a thousand suns. I would like to see them both die a 1000 deaths slowly.
Post # 3
@Bridey77: She needs to make her FB private and only be friends with her actual friends.
Post # 4
Bullying exists in various forms. Cyberbullying can occur over email. I don’t think FB is to blame, it’s the people behind it.
People are great at showing the negative aspect of tools, but less so the positives. Some of the communication that FB allows has saved lives.
I do feel bad for your daughter, and hopefully the fake account has been taken down!
Post # 5
You can’t blame Facebook and Twitter. I get it. They’re main websites where we see cyber bullying but it is the people on these sites. Whether it is online or in person, people are assholes and bullying will still exist. If we are going to allow our children to use these sites, we need to monitor them (just like you’re doing).
Having said that, I don’t think it would hurt to have an age limit on these sites (18+ for example). Facebook has changed in that there are so many picures, links, jokes etc that are very inappropriate for kids. You add cyber bullying and Facebook/Twitter are no place for kids.
Post # 6
Sorry to hear that happened to your daughter. Try to get the names of the kids responsible and have them held responsible for their actions by the school/their parents.
Post # 7
@Bridey77: I’m sorry about what you and your daughter are experiencing. In my personal opinion, it’s not the technology at fault – it’s the people using it. Bullies will use whatever means they can to target someone. Right now, that means texting and the internet. Focusing on the website being at fault isn’t going to do any good. Focusing on changing attitudes and holding the person responsible will.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Check to see what your daughter’s privacy and security settings are. Make them as strict as possible.
2. Have her go through her friend list and unfriend anyone she doesn’t actually know or isn’t friends with in real life.
3. Contact Tumblr and see about whether you can get the account taken down. This can be tough to do sometimes and you may need to consult a lawyer if they are really digging their heels in for some reason.
4. Do your best to figure out which kids/people are responsible and see about holding them accountable. That may mean contacting their school system or their parents and showing them proof of what they did (and be prepared for the parents to not care; not all parents are like that, but some are).
Post # 8
I wouldn’t blame the channels. We all have the option of not using them. We can control our online identities and what is “out there.”
Post # 9
Thanks everyone. The situation has since been resolved. I was just curious about what others experiences with cyberbullying have been.
Post # 10
I am definitely worried to bring a kid into this world. God knows what it’ll be like when I have a teenager (we are yet to TTC). Kids these days have to deal with totally different issues than back when I was a kid.. and I thought I had it rough when I was bullied in junior high!
Post # 11
Cyberbullying is the same as bullying, just using an electronic source. Cyberbullying is so incredibly difficult to stop because technology is so pervasive in our lives. I’m a teacher and my high school is piloting a 1:1 student to technology ratio so all of our students have iPad minis. We have gone to great lengths to make them understand the effects of bullying of any kind and now cyberbullying since they have this tool constantly. I make sure my students understand that they device does not belong to them, but our school district. If at any time I am suspicious of how they’re using the device, I can take it and look through it, just like any of our administration. I personally believe we should not let students (particularly Freshman-I teach them) have put personal apps on a school device because it is tempting and causes other issues. We had an issue where some of our students were downloading a game where you can take a pic of someone and then play where you shoot them. We stopped that shit real quick. If any student is caught with it on their iPad (and we checked after we heard about this “game”), they will face expulsion and charges because it is considered bullying and is obvisouly violent in nature. I did a project when we got the iPad where students had to research cyberbullying cases and share them with the class. With the exception of a few students who choose to do it, most students don’t bully throug their iPad. School districts will also watch social media in general to make sure schools are safe. You wouldn’t believe what some kid have posted to FB or Twitter because they don’t think they’ll face consequences.
Post # 12
@Bridey77: I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter, but 18+ isn’t realistic or wise. The technologies are here and learning how to integrate them into our lives will give your daughter the tools to handle situations when she’s an adult, both in real life and online.
I get that you love your daughter and want to protect her, but it’s better that she can come to you for support, rather than turn to self-medication, harmful behaviors, or sneakiness because she’s trying to make that transition to being self-responsible.
Finally, the ability to use Facebook, Twitter and other similar technologies are also in-demand job skills. Not allowing her the freedom and support to explore those platforms may put her at a disadvantage for a tech, marketing or similar career.
Just some things to think about, and I’m sorry you and your daughter have to go through this!
Post # 13
@bitsybee: Its resolved for the most part now. A conversation on another thread got me thinking about about cyber bullying in general. I was just wondering what other people’s experiences have been.
She has been pretty responsible with social media. Teenagers tend form and break alliances more than on survivor though. Just because someone is your friend today does not mean they will be tomorrow. At least in high school.
Thank you for your kind and supportive post.
Post # 14
@KatiePi: Other people disagree with me, but that is part of why I think there should be a minimum age requirement on most of those sites. When you see how most of the adults act, you have to multiply it by a thousand and then add a million in regards to how a teenager is going to misuse it.
Post # 15
@Bridey77: no worries 🙂 I actually went through an awkward phase between 2nd and 12th grades where books and teachers were my only friends. Other kids were too distracting from what I wanted to achieve.
my old classmates are now mostly adjusted adults, but I really didn’t want to deal with them then. Your daughter is lucky to have such a thoughtful mom!
Post # 16
I grew up in the beginning of online meida like facebook and the like and I think that if I had a parent that would have known about it and guided me through it instead of letting me figure it out on my own, I would have been better off. And what happened to me was a lot worse than cyber bullying. (no questions, I don’t want to go into it)
I think that you need to be able to guide with them. Not letting them use it until they are older limits the amount of time you can be there and answer their questions. When they are 13, you can ask for passwords, check on their ussage and let them know the consequenses. Also, in this day, if you don’t know that they have it, they probably have it and aren’t telling you. Trust me, with all I hid from my parents with my online usuage, its a bit too easy.
My cousin has 2 daughters who are 16 and 14 respectively and they have had facebook accounts since they were 13. Their mother, who is an educator, is very involved in what they do with social media. She is their Facebook friend, and knows thier passwords. Once they are 18, they will be on their own, but for now, she can and has had deep conversations about what they do and what other girls are doing.