October is Cyberbullying Awareness Month. Telling you that kids are experiencing bullying on social media shouldn’t be news to anyone. It should be one of our greatest concerns when we consider our kids and the amount of time they spend on social media. All the social media companies have struggled to effectively address this issue, and Instagram is no exception.
However, Instagram introduced a tool that allows users to filter out offensive comments. And comments are where cyberbullying is happening on Instagram. This tool takes offensive words that regularly appear in reports of abuse and applies them here. If you’re not familiar with this tool, this “How-To Geek” article will walk you through the process, and they’ve included pictures for those of us who are visual learners!
Teenagers using their words as weapons to hurt people is nothing new. What makes cyberbullying more harmful is it’s constant presence. Teenagers have their phones with them ALL THE TIME. Because of that, cyberbullying follows them everywhere. And if the bullying is done using social media, the audience who witnesses the bullying has the potential to be massive.
As parents, it is imperative that we take bullying of any type seriously. It’s not something to ignore and hope it will sort itself out in time. Every social media site has a process for reporting bullying. Don’t hesitate to report bullying when you see it happening.