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.


 
 

 

SAPR: More than just an Air Force acronym

As an Airman and a senior leader in the Air Force Reserve, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts of sexual assault on an Air Force organization. Regardless of your unit or military status, Active or Reserve, no one is immune to these impacts nor absolved of their responsibility to combat the instances of sexual assault...
 
 

ACC, PACAF commanders confirmed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Herbert Carlisle will be the next commander of Air Combat Command and ACC Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson will be the next commander of Pacific Air Forces, according to a Senate confirmation vote July 23. Headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, ACC leads America’s Combat Air...
 
 
Flooding_pict

Flooding still underway this year, avoid water runoff problems

While rain in a desert climate is usually welcome, too much of a good thing can a problem for travelers, especially newcomers who may not be familiar with how quickly driving and other travel conditions can change. “There hav...
 

 

Cyber Airmen create virtual help desk

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Enterprise Service Desk is going virtual, and Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland will be the first to see it as it rolls out across the Air Force, starting the end of August. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has challenged...
 
 

AFSOUTH strengthens space ties with partner nations

Three officers from the Dominican Republic, Peruvian and Brazilian militaries partnered with active-duty and guard Airmen at Davis-Monthan for a rare opportunity to work collectively on the space component of PANAMAX 2014, Aug. 8-15. For a third year, partner nation participants took part in the space element of PANAMAX, an annual U.S. Southern Command sponsored...
 
 

The Judge Advocate General’s Corps announces law school programs

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a judge advocate are able to apply to the Funded Legal Education Program, or FLEP, and the Excess Leave Program, ELP. Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at the Air Force’s expense while...
 




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