School is out after an impossible to comprehend year. We are all breathing a sigh of relief because one of the toughest parts of an already difficult school life - bullying - is over.
But unfortunately, the fact is that our childrens’ exposure to bullying - cyberbullying in particular - increases significantly over the summer months, coinciding with increased mobile device usage.
As a teen’s mobile device usage skyrockets over the summer months, so does their exposure to cyberbullying. Studies show that as time spent on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (in that order) climbs, so too will their exposure to cyberbullying. Rates are more than tripling, according to those studies. The problem has compounded this year with the onset of prevalence in social media of racial unrest, AAPI hate, anti-semitic crimes and more.
Alarmingly, online conflict is following kids and teens offline. Over half of teens admit to fighting offline because of something posted on social media. How are teens responding? They are becoming angry or defensive, deleting their social media accounts, becoming less social, seeking professional help or therapy, and even harming themselves.
How can you help them stay safe? You must talk to your children about cyberbullying, and tell them not to keep quiet. Start early and be consistent. Remind them to save the evidence and report to cyberbullying. And finally, take a break! Help kids exit the cycle by putting the devices down. Let’s give our children some perspective, and breathing room this summer.
The STOMP Out Bullying™ HelpChat Line. You are not alone! We’re here to help!
The goal of the STOMP Out Bullying™ Live HelpChat Line is to help you reduce the stress, depression and fear you are feeling as a result of being bullied and to empower you to make healthy decisions.
*The Live HelpChat Line is available to ages 13 - 24 only. Free and confidential.