With the improvement of internet technology, brought upon an increase in globalization which creates a time compression between time and space. This brought about the widespread usage of interaction on social media websites and platforms. This in turn contribute to the increase of cyber bullying threats as the time people spent online is getting longer.
With the widespread usage of social media platforms, victims can easily fall prey to cyber bullies. Cyber bullies are taking their bullying to the net where they can get very fast reaction from a vast amount of viewers.
In 2011, a case which was seen as what could be a first case of death caused by cyber bullying created a rise in awareness against cyber bullying. With the increase awareness of cyber bullying, a nationwide "cyberwellness" campaign is introduced. This campaign launched by Media Development Authority (MDA) aims to educated parents and children on cyberwellness. Schools are also involved in the campaign to help promote and increase awareness.
There are various ways to prevent and stop cyber bullying. The ways can be carried out by schools, parents and also children/youths themselves.
- Raise awareness with regards to cyber bullying
- Educate parents, teachers and students on how to react when faced with cyber bullying case
- Work with parents to come up with solutions that can curb cyber bullying
- Educate students on cyber ethics and law
- Take proactive procedures to address cyber bullying cases in school
- Implement community based approach that addresses cyber bullying cases outside of school
- Take a stand against cyber bullying
Schools have came up with ways and methods to educate students on how they should react and handle cyber bullying correctly. There are videos created to educate and also to allow students to interactively understand the dangers of cyber bullying.
Interactive video which depicts a cyber bullying case and allows you to choose between 3 options on how you would want to react to the bullying
Video made by students to show the proper way of handling a cyber bullying caseParents
- Keep computer at visible places
- Talk regularly to your children about their online activities
- Set rules on the usage of internet
- Talk to your children about cyber bullying and explain the consequences
In the unfortunate case where cyber bullying has taken place. There are certain things that parents should do to stop cyber bullying.
- Avoid overreacting
- Be supportive of your child throughout the whole period
- Inform the school of the cyber bullying case
- Talk to your child about the cyber bully
- Ignore messages and block all contacts from the cyber bully
Preventive measures should also be taken by parents to prevent cyber bullying cases from arising again.
Restrict communications to your child, go through the list and make sure that only the approved list of friends can communicate with your child.
To prevent cyber bullies from targeting your child, parents should ensure that only their children ignore and do not add anyone anonymous to their list of friends.
Google your child
This is to prevent cyber bullies from posting attacks online. Set up an alert on Google to notify you if there is anything about your child posted online.
Reporting to school
Cases of cyber bullying usually takes place off school ground. Reporting to school can allow school personnel to check on the situation in school preventing cyber bullying to arise in school.
Children and Youth
Children and youth themselves should also be aware and take preventive measures against cyber bullying.
- Never give our personal information online
- Do not divulge passwords to anyone
- Never accept and read emails or messages from anonymous senders
- Always observe positive net ethics when online
When dealing with a cyber bully, there are 3 easy steps that should be observed. Stop, Block and Tell
Do not attempt to do anything rash and ignore all flamings from the cyber bully.
Restrict and block all means of communications with the cyber bully
Inform a trusted adult and report the bullying to authorities
With all the preventive measures and methods to handle cyber bullying around, I hope that there will be a decline of cyber bullying case in these coming years. As our lives become gradually more "online" most of our time and things will be spent and done on the net. This is why a safe net where positive ethics and proper usage is vital for the future generation to fully enjoy the technology and advances without having the risk of a preying cyber bully prowling around on the net.
Cyber Bullying Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://www.cyberwellness.org.sg/Knowledge
Managing cyber bullying. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://www.damaisec.moe.edu.sg/cos/o.x?c=/wbn/pagetree&func=view&rid=1060991
Bullying in Singapore Schools. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://www.ncss.gov.sg/VWOcorner/research_gateway/Children_and_youth_abstract_26.pdf
Bullying turns to cyberspace. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://garygoh.wordpress.com/
Educators concerned about increasing trend of cyber bullying. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/282978/1/.html
Protecting yourself from cyber bullies. Retrieved April 22, 2012, from http://scoga.org/cyberwellness/protecting-yourself-from-cyberbullies-2