Archives for posts with tag: parents

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Social media sites are a great way for teenagers to socialise with their friends. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Instagram are all social networks that teenagers use to communicate with their friends and others through the Internet. But with the use of these networks increasing daily stories of teenagers coming under attack by cyber bullies and the fatalities because of this is also rising. Parents and teachers are mentors and guardians of children and teenagers; therefore do you think that they should have a better understanding of cyber bullies on the Internet to help guard teenagers against harmful situations?

In October 2013 a 12 year old girl from Florida committed suicide after malicious messages were sent to her via social networking sites. Two girls were later arrested in connection with the death of Rebecca Sedwick; however even after her death more spiteful messages appeared on Facebook clearly showing that the two girls felt no remorse over their actions. The parents of the two girls and the staff of the school came under scrutiny for not taking action earlier to prevent this tragedy as it came out that Rebecca and her mother had apparently reported the bullying to the school before the fatal incident. The police officer that was appointed to the case urged parents to take more responsibility for their children’s actions online. Many of the public believe that the parents of the two girls are to blame as they did not know their teenage daughters activities online and maybe if they knew more about it, they could have prevented the casualty of the young girl. Do you believe this is true?

Another cyber bullying case that caused a teenage suicide is the one about Rehtaeh Parsons, but this time instead of the parents it was the teachers of her school that came under scrutiny for not helping to prevent the fatal incident. Rehtaeh committed suicide after months of torture over social media sites where pictures and videos had surfaced of her being raped by four different boys. When finding out the news her parents did everything they felt they could do to support Rehtaeh, however they felt that the school did not support her and take necessary action within the school. As the pictures and videos were circulating around Rehtaeh’s classmates, she found school unbearable with the constant negative comments made towards her face to face and over the web. Her parent’s felt that the school should have spoken to students about the incident and supported Rehtaeh in anyway they could to make her time at school more bearable. Some of the public feel that if the teachers were more aware of how harmful cyber bullying can be to a person’s emotional and physical state maybe they would have understood and helped her more during this troubling time. Do you believe that the teachers could have done more in this situation?

After hearing about the two different cases on teenage cyber bullying do you think that it is teachers and parents moral duty to be more aware of cyber bullying amongst teens to help prevent further suicides?

Please let us know your thoughts on this subject; all your views are very much appreciated.

R

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Social media sites and the internet are used daily by cyber bullies to target their victims and could be thought of as negative devices by many, however online campaigners have decided to fight fire with fire and have created online campaigns including videos that have then been posted the web to raise awareness of the effects that cyber bullies have on others. But is there a point in which campaigners efforts to change teenagers actions online are conflicted with being too hard-hitting on such a young age group?

When typing ‘cyber bullying campaigns’ into YouTube it produces a mass amount of campaigns, one that stood out amongst the others was entitled ‘the cyber bullying virus’ and is attached to the blog post below. It shows teenagers at school and how so many people are somehow connected to cyber bullying, whether they are the victims or the online predators. Many people may think that cyber bullying is not as bad as face to face bullying, although in this video it shows just how far a comment on a social media site can hurt an individual. Within this video it compares being a cyber bully to being a virus and when a computer has a virus it ultimately destroys it, just like when a human being has a virus it weakens them physically. In the video a teenage girl is being attacked by the cyber bully virus, therefore demonstrating to the audience how badly a person can be affected when being cyber bullied and the damage it can cause. With the video also showing how easy it is for internet trolls to post vile comments on social networking sites with the use of not only computers but phones too it brings to mind how hard it is to end cyber bullying.

Many of the online pictures and videos which are posted by campaigners about cyber bullies are hard hitting but campaigners believe that they are effective. But, there was one video where the general public felt that campaigners had taken their point too far. The video showed a young female with a needle and thread in her bedroom and then when she looks at herself in the mirror her mouth is sewn up. The caption at the end of the video says ‘If you’re being bullied, who can you talk to?’ The video was in memory of a teenage girl who was cyber bullied over the social networking site Bebo. This was said to be too graphic for teenage viewers because of their age, but campaigners of the video argue that because the rate of teenagers being cyber bullied is so high that teenagers and parents of teens need to know that there are websites and support available.
What are your thoughts about online campaigner’s actions against cyber bullies? Do you think they are morally right to post graphic videos online to change some teenager’s online behaviour or do you think that they have gone too far with such a young age group?

Please let us know your opinion on this matter; all your comments are appreciated.

R

It’s a topic with many differing viewpoints, and can be looked at from a range of perspectives, but the same question remains with the problem of teenage cyber bullying; can parents of teenagers using the internet to abuse and harass others be held at all responsible for their child’s actions? In this day and age, its near enough impossible for a parent to know what their child is doing every time they are online, with so many different social networking sites available. It therefore begs the question of how parents can monitor their child’s online presence without infringing on their privacy which may push their child away.

When it comes to cyber bullying, a term commonly known for its frequency in the news and media today, with increasing numbers of teenagers in the news committing suicide over internet bullying, parent’s responsibility and accountability for their child’s movements poses an interesting argument. On one hand, it can be contended that when it comes to a teenager using the internet, who is still technically a child, under the care and guardianship of their parents, a parent should be aware of what their child is getting up to on the web, making sure that they are using the internet for a positive purpose and not using any sites that could potentially put their child in danger. It could be said that a child’s behaviour is seen as a reflection on their parents and the upbringing they have had, so when a child is using the internet for a negative purpose, to taunt, tease and harass another child, is it reasonable for parents to take the blow? Tina Meier, mother of Megan Meier, a thirteen year old teenager who committed suicide after being bulled via MySpace voiced her opinion, stating; “is it important for us to hold parents accountable for their children’s actions? “Yes. But it’s impossible for parents to be there 24 hours a day.”

On the other hand, it could be disputed that a child’s online behaviour should bear no reflection on the parents. The rights to privacy and the ability to use the internet freely can be out of the control of parents, as how can a parent be expected to watch over what their child does online every minute they are using the internet? In some cases, it’s just not feasible. Similarly, it can be argued that the way a child behaves can’t be blamed on the parents of their child, as parents can’t possibly govern their child 24 hours a day, making sure they are acting appropriately. Casey M, a 17 year old cyber bullying advocate from New York said that “the more that parents try to control what their kids are doing online, the more sneaky kids get, and the less parents know what their kids are doing online”.

It’s easy to judge a parent on the way their child behaves, but what has to be considered is how far a parent can go when it comes to monitoring their child’s online profiles and presence. When you were a teenager, would you have been happy for your guardians to watch over what you were doing online?

It’s a tricky and sensitive subject, especially with teenagers who use the internet to bully others when they are still under the care of their parents, and still technically a child. With regards to laws and punishment, would it be ethical to enforce a law punishing parents when their child is a perpetrator of cyber bullying? This is an interesting question and could spark many more debates on the topic.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below, any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Hello,

Welcome to our brand new anti cyber bullying blog. We’re three UK students in our third year of University, who are dedicated and passionate about the issue of cyber bulling. The aim of this blog is to get people talking about this issue; any comments, opinions, or personal experiences are encouraged and appreciated. Although this blog isn’t going to stop bullying or trolling on the internet, we hope it’s a step in the right direction, and a place where people can come to share their thoughts on the topic.

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Thanks, E, A and R