Last night I was fortunate to attend a professional development opportunity based around CyberBullying and Internet Safety. Upfront I thought I had a fair idea about what this topic covered, however upon reflection I only know just the tip of the ice-berg.
In answer to the question above is cyberbullying more than just bullying, YES it definitely is. For Cyberbullying to be considered is must be repeated and can be defined as any harassment, insults and humiliation that occurs through the electronic mediums.
What does this mean to you?
As technology is always changing with the introduction of the smartphone and greater access to laptop and personal computers in the home environment, all people involved with children needs to be ever more vigilent to the risks associated with online programs. Risks include sexting, harassing and threatening messages, text messaging, hiding behind avatars, or even excluding others from online groups.
As a parent I was astounded to know that many children under the age of 13, had access to Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Even though the legal consent age for these programs are 13 and above, due to peer pressure these children are feeling the need to access the latest craze.
One area of the session that I didnt know a lot about was Online Grooming and how easy it is for online predators to have access to unassuming children. Due to the ease of access that children have to technology in today’s society and the pressure some children feel to be part of the “popular” group, these people aim to connect with children by gaining their trust.
The video below is one that was shown at the session, which as a parent of a nine year old daughter was quite confronting. Will let you decide and form your own opinions
Till next time