Bullying continues to be an issue on Facebook, despite the social network’s efforts to quell it, as 89 percent of respondents to a study by McAfee between the ages of 10 and 23 said they have witnessed “mean behavior” on the social network.
The study also found that:
- 40 percent of that same age group witnessed mean behavior on Twitter.
- 17 percent of kids aged 10 through 12 have seen mean behavior directed at a classmate or friend online, and that figure doubles to 34 percent for those aged 18 through 23.
- Only 9 percent of parents believe their children have witnessed cruel behavior online.
- Only 6 percent of parents think their kids have been targets, while 13 percent of kids who responded to the survey said they had been targeted.
- 4 percent of youth respondents said they were pressured into bullying someone online.
So what do we, as parents, do to help change this negative behavior? We must stay in the know. Since your kids have grown up in an online world, they may be more online-savvy than you, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourselves to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.
- Make sure you talk to your kids about Internet safety and what is and is not appropriate behavior online.
- Establish clear guidelines that you all agree on, including time spent online, and what type of content is OK to post online.
- Teach your kids to recognize cyber-bullying and encourage them to talk to you about it.
- Learn what your kids are doing with their mobile devices while they are in and out of school. It may surprise you to know how much time they are spending on them.
- Consider using tools to help keep your kids safe online and support family Internet rules. Parental control software such as McAfee Safe Eyes lets you protect your kids from inappropriate sites and stay informed about their online activities.
Readers: Have your kids encountered bullying on Facebook?