Cyberbullying and Covid-19

Instead of the person just before them, we all mock people sitting across the table looking at their phones and tablets. We speak with each other on our telephones sometimes across the table! My wife and I had conversations in Facebook and (hopefully) had public and humorous sittings in the same room.

However, we more often see and criticize this behavior of the social media and tend to call it anti-social.

Now we are at home and out of school, out of work and social distance with Covid-19. And those devices which we criticize – and use – are a pity for people who need to stay away from each other. We can reach our beloved from our shelters and order them for only $50 if they do not already have them – especially elderly people. We can order those equipment from our shelters. My wife and I get time with our son overseas via Messenger, but besides shouting at neighbors across the street, now and for a while we’re equally distant.

But the flip side is there. There is almost sure that cyberbullying is growing with so much time in their hands. There is a certain increase in unwanted behavior as boring becomes more and more digital mist with so much fear of “the others”—religion, ethnicity, gender orientation. This virus seems to be able to cause viral behaviour.

Hatred, rude or sexual pictures, rumor spread, aggressive and injurious behavior, spread through digital communication – phones, tablets, computers – characterize Cyberbullying. This may affect the mental and emotional well-being, self-image and behaviour of a child – or anyone else – as a result.

What to do? What to do?

It’s helpful to have parental controls on your devices if you have children at home and limit the time of use and perhaps the places they are able to visit. Encourage people to be in common areas of the home when they feel unwanted or harmful communication. You can observe and intervene.

Do not respond to bully conduct — the person who sends out such rudeness is usually best not to engage because he is likely to escalate and persist. Many such behaviors are intended for attention-raising. It will probably be encouraging the offender to continue and improve the behavior by paying attention to what they want.

Take screen shots in order to document your behavior if it is necessary. If necessary, this will help report to authorities or schools. For the screen shooting purposes, various devices use different procedures. You should enter an instruction page or video to Google and “screen shot.” Naturally, a camera or another phone can be used to take a photograph of the screen. Be sure you have all the dates and times, texts and photos, handles and usernames on the screen.

Block that person. Block the person. Most apps and devices provide a way of blocking social media callers, texts or friends for any reason.

If the offender is a school person or a child’s school person, report the behavior and the individual as quickly as possible. Since the school may not reply to your phones, as so many of you are now closed, email to the school might be preferable. Include your collected documentation. The Department of Justice may lodge a complaint with educational@usdoj.gov, but be aware that you receive thousands of or more complaints, so it seems likely that you will receive more help locally.

Talk to your child and encourage them to openly and without judgement express their feelings about the behaviour.

With several Social Media apps, including SnapChat, TikTok, FaceBook, Instagragram, the Common Sense media Website offers extensive security advice. To navigate through this recommendation, point to the https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ in your browser and then select the subject of particular attention from the drop-down menu by entering the “Parents need to know” tab.

We certainly live in interesting times. And they’re definitely difficult! But we can make it a time for deeper linkages, with some encouragement, some observation and some listening rather than a time of increased abuse.

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