I heard this week that Monica Lewinsky had spoken at a TED talk about the power of shame, and within her talk she spoke about the impact that social media has on young children. In our day and age, social media can instantly inform the world of the joys and happiness occurring in your life, but also humiliate, embarrass, ridicule and hurt you in a second with a picture, a tag, or a word. Words do hurt no matter what that old saying says (“Sticks, and stones, may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.) I know that is what we are supposed to think and say but I also know personally that I still remember the teasing mean words that were said to me when I was 13. 20 years later those words have still got a sting. According the children’s charity NSPCC, one in five children is now bullied online.
At school we try very hard to show international mindedness, teaching the children to be open-minded, to respect all people and how to handle situations of conflict or difficulty. In Grade 1 and 2 we have been learning about identifying the clues in people’s faces and bodies which tell us how someone is feeling as when we can empathise with how someone is feeling we are more likely to get along better. In Grade 5 Ms Yasmeen is working on classic tales such as Red riding hood and Cinderalla and asking the students how they would go about resolving these conflicts so that everyone is happy and no one is hurt.
I would encourage you to speak with your children, find out what they know about cyber-bullying and make sure you have the ability to keep an eye on what your child is looking at and posting on social media.
“What is cyberbullying?
It can include:
- Texting scary or rude messages by mobile phone
- Sending unpleasant photos by mobile phone
- Using online message boards, chatrooms or social networks to post cruel messages
- Deleting the victim’s name or ignoring their messages on groups or social networks
What to do about cyberbullying
- Tell someone, be it a family member, teacher or other trusted adult, if something upsets you
- Don’t respond to messages but save evidence
- Don’t take everything to heart; know yourself
- Don’t give out your own or friends’ personal information
- Be careful about what you write and post online
- Know how to block or report people”
(taken from :http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31976567)
- Don’t add to the problem by liking or sharing an unkind image or comment