The Dark Side Of The Web
Cyberbullying – it’s not OK
Cyberbullying is when kids bully each other through electronic technology. You might think it only includes Facebook and other social media sites, but actually it can include all forms of electronic technology – including text messaging and emails.
How is cyberbulling different to physical bullying?
Kids who are cyberbullied have a greater probability of also suffering normal bullying. The problem with cyberbullying is that it is harder to remove yourself from the situation, as cyberbullying can occur any time of the day or night, and reach someone even when they are alone. Cyberbullying can be incredibly hurtful and emotional damaging to a person. There are even cases where people have committed suicide after being cyberbullied.
Don’t be a cyberbully. Instead, be a good cybercitizen.
How can we stop cyberbullying?
Electronic technology is not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media, email and text messaging are most often positive ways to communicate and engage with friends and family. To stop cyberbullying, we should remember to follow some simple rules of netiquette:
- Say only what you would say to a person’s face
- Don’t use rude words
- Do not hurt other’s feelings
- Remember that people cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice, so use smiley emoticons so people will understand you better ;^)
- Cool off before responding to messages in anger
- Tell an adult if someone upsets you
- REMEMBER: Anything you send or post online can be copied and pasted, then sent to someone else. Once it’s out there, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get it back. So don’t send or post anything that you wouldn’t want your teachers, parents, coaches, and future employers to see.
Most education institutions, organisations and companies have IT policies that prohibit cyberbullying. If you send inappropriate material through these network, you could be prosecuted for breaching their policy.
Sexting is when you use your phone or internet to share nude/sexy pictures. The very real danger with sexting is that once you have sent the picture, you cannot control who it is forwarded to or who sees it. Sending nude photographs in Fiji is also illegal. THINK TWICE before sexting – you could be breaking the law!
Internet dating is becoming more popular. However, it is difficult to know the truth about someone if you have only ever met them online – they could be telling you one thing, but the truth might be something else indeed!, it is very important that you take someone with you if you are planning on meeting your internet friend in person for the first time. Your safety is the number one priority!