ParentTip: Cyberbullying

In the age of social media, cyberbullying has become a problem that can no longer be ignored. In a TED Talk she did last year, Monica Lewinsky spoke out against the societal ramifications of cyberbullying… And she should know considering she was quite possibly the first victim of public shaming on a worldwide level. In her talk, she describes the concept of “being embarrassed to death” through her own experience of coming very close to considering suicide in the aftermath of the scandal. She also shares the story of an 18-year-old student who took his own life after his privacy was posted online. Unfortunately, his story is only one of many.

Social media has created a culture where we are “seen by many, but known by few” and this is the breeding ground for cyberbullying. When youth can communicate messages of hate and humiliation without truly seeing the consequences of their actions we begin to create a society of apathy and isolation.

Thankfully, the cruelty of cyberbullying is now in the spotlight and organizations are speaking out against it. In her talk, Lewinsky claims that “shame cannot survive empathy.” We love that statement and want to share with you a few ways you can show your support to victims of cyberbullying so that they know they are not alone.

The I Am a Witness campaign has created anti-bullying emojis that can be used across most social media apps. Now youth have a fast, but effective way to reach out to their peers and be a voice of support rather than humiliation.

The Stomp Out Bullying campaign’s website has several great resources for youth, parents, and educators including tips on how to take an active role against bullying. Check it out!