The mental health concerns that have increased during the global pandemic have become alarming. The number of individuals that have been affected by mental health problems these days include people of all ages and backgrounds. This quarantine period has been a great obstacle for many of us who were used to being out and about daily. Experiencing the decrease in social interactions has affected many of us in a negative way.
One sector of the population that has been affected by this crisis is adolescents. Teens are just like us, but perhaps their emotions are much more emphasized due to the hormonal changes of teenage years. The quarantine period has also been difficult for them, so we need to recognize this and help them get through the daily challenges.
Cyberbullying is one example of a potential challenge that teens may face these days. Nowadays, teenagers are very vocal about their thoughts and opinions. They are also very active on social media platforms which makes them more vulnerable to acts of cyberbullying. Counseling workshops can help members of the community determine ways how to solve these adolescents’ problems. The older generation needs to find ways to help these young individuals handle these complex situations.
What Is Cyberbullying
Bullying in any form is something that everyone should advocate against. However, with the advent of digital technology, there has been a new form of bullying going around, which is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that happens through interactions on digital platforms such as cellphones and computers. This often involves sharing information about a specific person to cause embarrassment and humiliation of the victim.
Research has shown that since the start of the global health crisis and the quarantine period, kids these days have been more prone to becoming victims of cyberbullying. This can be caused by several factors that are related to the current stressful situation.
The increased use of digital technology during the quarantine period may be one of the causes of the increase in cases of cyberbullying. Apart from this, kids are also emotionally affected by the current crisis. This means that their stress levels may have also been increasing in recent times, making it more likely for them to lash out at their peers online.
Some friendships may have been experiencing rocky situations right now, which could also be a reason behind cyberbullying. Kids have various contexts at home, and it could contribute to their online misbehavior.
Cyberbullying can have a grave impact on an adolescent’s emotional development. Parents and the community need to help victims of cyberbullying through ways that they can sustain.
Helping Teens Deal with Cyberbullying
Growing up, it is crucial for adolescents to feel a sense of belongingness. With experiences of cyberbullying, this sense of belongingness might be affected. As mentioned, it is crucial for communities, especially parents, to know how they could help kids who are victims of cyberbullying and how to prevent this from happening.
As teenagers develop, parents need to maintain a strong connection and good communication. This will allow the teen to talk about emotions and stressors that may have been affecting their behavior, especially during this global pandemic. Things are not the way they used to be, and for teens, enough changes are already happening in their bodies. A change in their lifestyle is just another obstacle that they need to face. This means that teens might be confused as to how to handle the situation properly.
Parents should encourage open communication with teens so that they could talk about their problems in a safe space. This may be a good time to discuss concerns that may otherwise have been bottled up or, worse, be expressed online for everyone to judge.
Communication is an important factor in a parent-child relationship so make sure that you encourage this in your teens and be open about their thoughts and emotions.
Benefits of Online Communities
While cyberbullying is prevalent in online communities, that does not necessarily mean that you should prevent your teen from going online altogether. There are benefits to being engaged online despite its potential to be a platform for cyberbullying.
Teens can benefit from online communities by using them to forge better friendships in safe circles. During this pandemic, online communities may also ease feelings of isolation as teens can stay connected with friends and loved ones online.
In this digital age, social media and other online platforms can easily be a platform for cyberbullying. Guardians, parents, and educators need to find out how to help teens stay safe online and engage in safe circles to maintain good friendships despite the current situation.