With at least 1 in 5 young Australians under the age of 18 being victims of bullying each year, learning to spot the signs is vital. Spotting the signs of online bullying can be tricky, but there are some things you can do as a carer, teacher, educator or parent.
The secret world of online bullying
It is estimated that over half of online bullying victims do not tell an adult what they are being subjected to. And because the online world has many nooks and crannies, witnessing the online bullying take place is less likely than traditional playground bullying.
With online bullying taking place across a range of technology, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, we need to do our best to ensure that children’s use of these devices is supervised where possible. This also means restricting or monitoring children’s access to the following based on age appropriateness:
- Social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Text messages
- Online forums and groups
- Instant messaging apps
Signs of online bullying
While seeing the bullying take place is challenging, the signs of online bullying can be recognised if you know what to look for.
Some signs of online bullying include:
- Nervousness when a device gets a notification
- Aggression towards a device
- Abruptly closing or turning off a device
- Switching screens or closing apps when you approach
- Being secretive about use of technology or internet
- Disturbed eating or sleeping patterns
- Becoming withdrawn
Online bullying can be persistent and overwhelming, feeling inescapable to those on the receiving end. Unlike traditional bullying, it doesn’t end when children are safe at home but can continue relentlessly.
Keep an eye out for the signs and encouraging parents to have use of technology in the open when at home can help to keep tabs on whether a child is a victim of online bullying.
Don’t forget to download our eBook about online bullying.
Have a read of two other blogs in the series!