Click: A Story of Cyberbullying
by Alexandra Philips
“Click” – Lexi’s story of cyber bullying – is a shocking depiction of young teenager’s torment in the newfound world of online harassment. Lexie, from Northridge, California, is ganged up on by a few girls over a misunderstanding on the schoolyard. The incident escalates on social media, local chat boards, and gossip sites. Forced to change schools, Lexie moves on with her life. When she gets an opportunity to return to her old school for a social event, she quickly realizes how much she has grown as she encounters those who bullied her.
Publication Date: January 2018
Five Parent Take-Aways About Cyberbullying
Cyber bullying is the “new bullying”
Parents and students need to be aware that bullying has progressed into the technological era. Bullying used to be something that occurred on school grounds. Today, cyber bullies can attack your child 24/7, on devices you have purchased for them, in the apparent safety of your own home.
Tell a trusted adult if cyber bullying occurs
Sometimes the victim of cyber bullying doesn’t report it. “Save the evidence” of the bullying, take a screenshot, print it out, and show it to a parent, a Principal, or counselor at school. The electronic evidence of abuse may be helpful if law enforcement has to get involved. Whatever you do, don’t retaliate – don’t try and bully the bully.
Parents should monitor all social media
Most parents have little or no idea what social media accounts, smartphone apps, or online groups their kids belong to. For the safety of your children, it’s vital that parents know what apps their children are using and what’s happening in their life online. Respecting your child’s privacy is important, but their safety from online predators, cyberbullies, and “frenemies” (friend enemies) is paramount.
Disconnect more than you connect
Sure, the world today is much different than when our parents were growing up. However, social media, texting, emailing, and group chat should not replace good old fashioned face to face communication. Believe it or not, life can also be really be meaningful when it’s just human-to-human. Connecting on devices is fun and easy, but don’t forget to connect “in person” as well.
Once you post it, it’s for life
Some young people make the mistake of posting risky pictures of themselves for attention. Don’t! One thing about the internet, there is no “escape” button. Pause before you post. Once it’s out there in cyberspace, and the photo is causing problems for you, it’s really hard – almost impossible to get it taken down. Beware of your digital exhaust – practice proper network hygiene at all times.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Dr. Mary Aiken
Dr. Mary Aiken is a world-renowned forensic cyberpsychologist from Dublin, Ireland, who specializes in the impact of technology on human behavior and the effect on children.