Social bullying refers to a deliberate and constantly repeated aggressive social behavior. Its perpetrators mainly aim at hurting the victim and making them feel lesser than their peers. In most cases, it affects youths and often results into social isolation. Bullies use this form of bullying to improve their social and relational standing in a particular peer group, thus gain control over others.
Unlike physical bullying, this type is not easy to discover and can continue for a very long time without knowing the kind of suffering and belittlement experienced by the victim. The bully identifies some weakness on the side of the victim and capitalizes on it. If not controlled, this type of bullying is likely to spill into ones adulthood. Your child can be bullied while playing with peers or at school or on their way home. However, bullying appears to be taking another direction. It is no longer done the traditional way.
Technological innovations have benefited its users in many ways. The introduction of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google plus is a great achievement in the entertainment and ICT industry. These social sites are popularly used by teens, who happen to be the biggest target group for social bullying.
Before their introduction, this type of Social Bullying mainly used to happen in schools and play areas. However at present, a lot of children, majorly the youth, have fallen victim of Social Bullying as a result of the use of social networking sites. As a parent, you need to know the various ways in which your child can be bullied through this form of Social Bullying. Some are discussed below.
Social Bullying: Identity Theft
Social networking platforms usually identify persons using a specific and unique username and password. All the users of these sites are assigned a user account with which they can connect and network with friends online. Bullies often take advantage of this requirement and hack into their victim’s account, posing as them. In return, they make negative posts and intimidating statements while posing with your online friends as if you are the one making such comments.
Others tend to create fake accounts in your child’s name and begin to post information that is misleading. They may even disclose private and confidential information to the members of the public domain, all in the name of tarnishing the victim’s name.
As a parent whose child is experiencing such difficulties while on social networking sites, consider advising them to report the cases to the respective customer service agents of the said site. They may also report the matter to the police since identity theft is a serious offense and can warrant the arrest of the perpetrator.
Learn more about Social Bullying and Emotional Bullying
Social Bullying: Threats
Your child can be intimidated socially through threats originating from malicious internet users. It is important to note that threatening someone regardless of the basis of the threats is a serious criminal offense. It is unlawful to cause distress or any form of unrest to an individual without due cause. Advanced bullies make use of the internet to bully their victims, mainly with the aim of achieving some gains from them. Most of them are usually in pursuit of either sexual or economic gains from the victims.
Therefore, if your child is receiving anonymous threats, consider advising them to print the threats and use a copy of the printout to pursue the case in a court of law. Such threats can really be traumatizing and, to a larger extent, may lead to death.
Threats on social networks also leave your child traumatized and severely depressed. Appropriate measures need be taken to alleviate this condition before it is too late.
Social Bullying: Spreading Of Rumors and Gossip
The people that one socializes with on a social network can turn out to be the bullies. For instance, if a friend decides to post spiteful statements meant to demean you, the statements will be visible to all your other friends. These could be those who were once your best friends but not anymore, who are trying to bully you as a means to make you pay for the lost friendship. In most cases, these claims are usually false and basically aim at tormenting the victim.
Parents should inform their children of the dangers of exposing their confidential information to untrustworthy friends. Such information is what is often used to embarrass them on social networking sites. A good remedy to this is to try and review the privacy settings of the social networking site’s account. If need be, limit those who can access posts projected to your webpage by selecting specific groups like family members or close friends only.
How to Overcome Social Bullying
- Avoid physical confrontations with the bully
- Control your anger, and become friendly to the bully
- If it is about false rumors, you may clarify it by giving the true information
- Do not allow the bully to rule over your life. The more space you give them in your life, the more harm they create in you.