Health & Safety

November 21, 2013

How to combat bullying in the digital age

Capt. Allison Walker
17th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Watching the news, many parents may feel perplexed by the recent surge of “cyberbullying.”

Cyberbullying? What is that? This relatively new phenomena is unchartered waters for most parents and keeping children safe in this new technological arena can be anxiety provoking.

Cyberbullying is defined as deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. As of 2011, at least 75 percent of teenagers had cell phones, and more than 50 percent were logging into some version of social media daily. The 24/7 access to digital media allows for such damaging information to become wide public knowledge almost instantly – and incredibly difficult to remove. The most recent numbers report that more than 20 percent of adolescents have been the victim of cyberbullying. This is a very common online risk and can result in severe depression, anxiety, social isolation and even suicide.

If you or your child experiences cyberbullying, immediately end the interaction. Never respond to a bully. Get school officials involved, notify the site managers if it occurs on social media (it often is in violation of their rules), and of course, if there are any threats of violence or safety concerns, notify the police.

 

What can you do to help protect your child from becoming a victim or perpetrator? 

Most social media sites, such as Facebook or Myspace, have a minimal age requirement of 13 years of age for use. This is the age set by Congress to prohibit sites from collecting information from children. Learn the age restrictions set by the sites your child is accessing and adhere to them. In addition, look at the site and make sure that you agree that the content is age appropriate.

Have a family meeting or use dinner conversations to discuss online topics and specific issues children face on-line.

Always dig deeper if your child has a change in mood, new fears regarding school/friends, or the onset of sadness/aggression immediately following exposure to digital media.

As a family, take time to review the privacy settings and monitor the profiles of each member to identify any inappropriate posts on a routine basis. Emphasize healthy behaviors and citizenship – this should not be a punishment.

Establish a family use plan to limit the time spent using digital media – not only does this help to limit the time your child is vulnerable to cyberbullying, but it limits distractions to homework and sleep as well. Make sure all access to digital media is removed at bedtime and adhere to your school’s policy on internet and phone use.

Become better educated with technologies and social media sites.

Actively participate in supervising on-line activities, not remotely with software.

Be a good role model. Limit your time with digital media and demonstrate private and safe behaviors.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 
DT_pict1

354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue se...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

Your estimated wait time is…

Did you call the Enterprise Service Desk yesterday, but you’re still on hold today? The Communications Squadron will be uploading the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application to computers base wide. 1st Lt. Brooke Leigh, ...
 

 

Face of Defense: Shooting victim seeks to inspire others

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – An Army officer who was severely wounded in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year is using his near-death experience to give others a new lease on life. “I believe I was given a second chance,” said 1st Lt. John Arroyo, who is recovering at Brooke Army...
 
 
AFAS_pict

AFAS steps up with education programs

Education can be a key to succeeding in life, especially for military members looking to make the Air Force a career. The costs associated with getting an education are on the rise, but the Air Force Aid Society can help take s...
 
 
Fuel_pict

Exchange offers full-service refueling to drivers with disabilities

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with the support of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is adding a new system to gas stations on military installations worldwide to make it easier for drivers with dis...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin