We see Smart phones, tablets, laptops and many other gadgets in the delicate hands of toddlers and small kids these days. That just goes to prove how much social media and technology has taken over our lives.
The online world is so deep and vast just like an ocean with unlimited sites to visit. Our kids can get addicted and lost in the sea of websites, some of which may not be safe. They can become victims of cyber crimes like cyber bullying and cyber stalking.
As we all know that cyber bullying is the use of information technology or internet by an individual or a group of people to harass someone. Cyber bullies carry out such online activities with the intention of deliberately humiliating the victim.
Online pranks :
Sometimes a group of friends can playfully gang up online on their peer. But things can take a dangerous turn if the victim is not aware of the pranks being played. What starts out as a game can lead to something serious. Things may take a turn for the worst. Because only the victim knows what he or she is going through mentally. To add to the agony, he or she is not aware of the prank. Online pranks could be dangerous too.
Forms of cyber bullying :
* Some forms of cyber bullying include posting pictures of victims without their consent.
* Tricking people into revealing their personal information.
* Spreading lies and rumours about the victims.
* Ganging up and convincing people to dislike the victim.
* Forming online groups to harass the person.
Many of these crimes go unreported as there is no proper evidence. The flow of data in social media sites are very fast and it’s not constant. So collecting evidence is a major problem.
The victims could also not report the problem if there’s no proper support system. She or he could be traumatized to report it to anyone. The reasons could be endless.
Who would want their children to become victims of such crimes? It’s therefore essential to take precautions at the earliest.
* By keeping a check on the type of online friends they interact with.
* By monitoring the websites they visit.
* By removing people whom they distrust or who pose as threats are few precautionary steps that can be taken.
Schools could also take initiatives to teach their students to use social media responsibly. It should not be used to degrade, demotivate or discourage anyone. It should not be used to demoralize or defame anyone. One should not become an accomplice or support a cyber bully. Cyber media can be used as a platform to share knowledge and to interact in a healthy manner with others.
Cyber bullying is equal to real life bullying and the effects could be lifelong. Victims of cyber bullying may go through low self esteem, behavioral changes, mood swings and distrust of people. According to researchers’ children have even committed suicide after a cyber bullying incident.
Cyber media is a great platform where one can connect with family, friends and people with similar interests within a split of a second. Why not make it a safe haven? Let’s make the online world a safe place for men, women and our children and use its resources for the betterment and change.
I’m Diana Pinto mother of a three-year-old son. I’m a housewife and a blogger. My interests include listening to music, dancing and now of course writing. I’ve developed an interest in writing recently and hope to inspire people and bring a change through it. I blog at Diana’s musings.