Parents, Can You Tell The Difference Between An Internet Troll and a Cyberbully?

By ParentsCanada staff on January 07, 2018

 

Did you know that nearly one in two youth have experienced online bullying in the last four weeks? Unfortunately, we live in a world where the words ‘cyberbully’ and ‘Internet troll’ have become a part of our everyday language. Cyberbullying can be referred to as “abusive behaviour that takes place online or is enhanced by digital technology.” An Internet troll is often the person who begins to cyberbully someone else online.

And there are parents out there who may not understand the two terms or other common slang found on the Internet, but don’t worry – that’s where TELUS comes in.

Through its #RiseAbove conversation, TELUS is driving awareness of cyberbullying in collaboration with WE across Canada, to empower youth to combat online negativity. 

The #RiseAbove campaign is part of TELUS’ ongoing commitment to improving the lives of youth and their communities to help make digital spaces safe places for everyone. 

Whether you’re a novice or as in-the-know as your kids are about the online world, here are a few tips from TELUS online resources to help parents navigate cyberbullying:

  • Are you down with the latest slang? Do you know what YOLO and FOMO stand for? Learn the latest slang and what kids are really saying online.
  • Teach your child about their online behaviour and the lasting impression it can leave. Help them build a positive online reputation.
  • Know which social media platforms your kids spend the most time on and some of the safety tips associated with each one. This guide provides insights about some of the most popular platforms – including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
  • Understand the red flags to look out for if you think your child is being cyberbullied. These can include:
    • Being upset or aggravated after using cell phones or computers
    • A withdrawal from friends and usual activities
    • Reluctance to use the computer, cell phone, or go to school

 

It’s a parent’s job to make their kids feel safe at home, at school and now online. Learning about the time your kids spend online, and why, is important to help protect them against the possible risks they may encounter in cyberspace. Take the time to talk to your kids about cyberbullying, the importance of having a positive online reputation, and how they can be apart of the solution, not the problem.

The solution isn’t just up to parents; your kids can do their part to put an end to cyberbullying too. Here are a few tips your kids should know:

  • When you know a classmate or peer is being cyberbullied, get involved by comforting them privately and/or talking to an adult you trust about the situation; standing by and doing nothing can hurt just as much as the act itself.
  • There is a right way and a wrong way to respond to cyberbullying; don’t be afraid to reach out to parents and teachers if you’re unsure, or use the IMPACT tool to explore effective intervention strategies.
  • Don’t assume that something that’s a joke to one person can’t be really hurtful to someone else.

 

For more information and resources, visit TELUS Rise Above.

 

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