How does cyberbullying affect mental health, especially on kids?
Technological advancement brings new opportunities for everyone – kids and adults alike.
Every other day a new app/platform comes into play and gives us a chance to learn, play, meet new people, or even make money.
Undoubtedly, new opportunities entail new challenges that parents of modern-day kids haven’t tackled before.
Social media is also like a coin with two sides.
Kids get swept up in the side which shows glamor and fame. However, its dark side entails horrors like cyberbullying, online grooming, etc., that often get swiped under the rug.
Let us demystify the world of social media and explore how parental control apps can help save your kids from issues such as cyberbullying.
How does cyberbullying affect mental health of kids?
Cyberbullying – An Introduction
In layman’s terms, cyberbullying is mistreating others online via demeaning messages, exposing private information, aggressive behavior, threats, personal attacks, etc.
Cyberbullying is rampant on most social media apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and so on.
Kids, who frequent these apps, make public profiles in hopes of getting followers and fame.
They don’t consider the adverse effects of cyberbullying on their mental and physical health.
That is why, parents must help kids understand the ramifications of social media and cyberbullying and how seriously it can impact their lives.
How Does Cyberbullying Impact Kids’ Mental Health?
Cyberbullying isn’t far off from the bullying that you (the parents) faced in the good old days.
Traditional bullying used to end with someone’s fist in your face.
Now, it happens with someone posting nasty things about you online. The worst part is, it doesn’t end! Whatever gets posted online spreads like wildfire.
Cyberbullying is a serious problem with dreadful consequences.
The kids who experience it may either recover and learn to overcome it or may suffer various issues involving mental health.
The impact of cyberbullying on kids’ mental health includes:
- Drastic mood changes
- Social isolation
- Emotional distress
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
There are many other health problems related to cyberbullying.
But this should give you a few pointers on how you can raise awareness in your kids.
Teach your kids about online safety by explaining why they mustn’t share their private information online. Better yet, define what counts as personal information.
It will help them know where to draw the line.
Knowing all this is not enough.
Parents should be able to figure out if their kids are experiencing cyberbullying.
If you don’t know how to spot cyberbullying, here are a few things that may help you.
How Do I Spot It?
You must know how cyberbullying happens online if you want to prevent it from happening altogether.
It seems like a no-brainer but it isn’t an easy feat. Cyberbullying can happen on any forum – emails, text messages, chatrooms, online gaming platforms, live streaming, etc.
It takes practice and wit to figure out the difference between harmless fun and intentional aggression/misbehavior.
It is easier to spot harassment, bullying, and abusive behavior when you are staring at someone’s face because of body language and tone of voice.
It becomes impossible to do that online since people use fake accounts, memes, code words, etc., to disguise their actual persona and misbehavior.
Your kids may experience cyberbullying in any of the following forms:
- They might get harassed.
- Someone may post their private information online.
- They may receive open/disguised threats.
- People can be mean to them by using derogatory names.
- Somebody could slander them with the intent of ruining their reputation.
- They might be bombarded with sexual or lewd content.
- Someone may report them for violating a rule to the platform to get them blocked.
Now that you are familiar with how it happens, let’s look at ways to prevent it altogether.
How Do I Prevent It?
Parents often don’t know where to begin and kids avoid talking to their parents about cyberbullying because they don’t want to be stripped of their privileges.
Establishing an open relationship based on trust can help you break the ice. Parents must let their kids know that they can confide in them.
Remember that having a conversation with your kids about cyberbullying and its consequences is never enough on its own.
Having a contingency plan in place is your best bet to ensure your kids don’t have to endure this trauma.
That is where parental control apps, such as ScreenTime parental control app, can help you out.
Role of ScreenTime in Preventing Cyberbullying
ScreenTime is considered one of the best parental control apps by countless users.
It can help make it easier for parents to flag cyberbullying. Here are a few key features that can help you spot and effectively prevent cyberbullying for your kids.
- App Blocker – you can approve/block any apps on your kids’ devices.
- Monitor Calls & Text Messages – it allows you to flag indecent communication and deal with it accordingly.
- Contact Watchlist – parents can create a watchlist of people they don’t wish to be in touch with their kids. Once set, this feature notifies you whenever people on your list try to contact your kids.
- App Usage Reports – you can find out what apps are frequently used by your kids and how much time they spend on each one.
- Screen Time Limit – parents can assign a time limit for individual apps, including various social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. Your kids won’t be able to spend more than their designated time on those apps.
ScreenTime offers more safety features, such as a screen time schedule, SOS/Panic button, Internet Filter, Internet Schedule, Pick-Me-Up button, etc., to help secure your kids both in real life and online.
Sign up and start using all the amazing features today.
Beside the above-mentioned system, you can search in google to get more ways on how does cyberbullying affect mental health of kids.