Before I begin, I would like to make it clear that I am not judging any parent on how they raise their child. I am simply stating that there are certain choices that parents can make that can also end the bullying. I strongly believe that the bullying could come to a standstill if parents decide against smart phones and social media.
Of course, I do understand that bullying existed before iPhones and Facebook, but it was never as easy to bully others as it is today.
Teenagers have everything they could ever want, and it has led to a bullying epidemic. I am not sure how teenagers have turned out this way, but now it has caused one too many problems. If you really want your children to stop being bullied, or to stop your children from bullying others, then do not buy them a laptop. They are not in college yet so they can type a paper on the home computer. Do not give them a smart phone. After all, what do they need a smart phone for? All they need to do is contact their friends, not spend every waking minute on the internet.
And that whole paragraph leads me to my next two points about parents and enabling bullying. Children under 18 years old should not have a Facebook account or a smart phone.
The downfall of Social Media
Bullying has existed since forever. However, social media has made bullying that much worse. Way to go Facebook. When I was in high school, you could not get a Facebook account until you were registered for college. Now, anyone and their mothers can be on Facebook. And since Facebook has put their site public, the rise in bullying has gone along with the growth of the Facebook bank account. It was a horrible idea to allow children to have a Facebook account. Sure, more money for the social media site, but more torment for teenagers.
Bullying has always existed, yes. But back when I was in high school, you had to insult someone to their face. Or try to find their AIM screen name and if you did not have their AIM screen name, then good luck trying to insult them from behind a keyboard. People were just rude, and always to your face. Sure, they talked behind your back, but you did not hear it, so who cared? Cyber bullying existed, but only if you wanted it to. You had to provide your information to the “in crowd” if you wanted them to cyber bully you. You could not just find an AIM screen name on the internet. You had to ask for one. Now you can find anyone on Facebook, torment them through Facebook messages, and make them feel worthless.
It was not that easy when I was in high school, and that was not that long ago.
Sadly, Facebook will still be public. Children will still have access to the site that was meant for people of a more mature age who have better things to discuss like homework, interests, and meeting new people on campus. So if anyone wants to complain about being bullied on Facebook, then get off Facebook. Anyone who is beneath the age of a college student is most likely not mature enough to handle that kind of social media presence. If most of the torment occurs on Facebook, then deactivate Facebook, or ignore the bullies.
Giving a smart phone to a child, and when I say child, I mean anyone under the age of 18, could be one of the worst decisions. Anyone under the age of 18 should not have a smart phone. Parents, you are giving your children the highest opportunity to be bullied and harassed. Why not provide your 16 old with a phone that simply calls and texts people. They are not even 18 yet, and they should not be given a smart phone. They are not managing a Twitter account for a company, or handling a Facebook page for some type of organization. If teenagers did not have smart phones, they would not be able to take videos and send them around the school. Without a smart phone, they would not be able to check their Facebook account every five minutes to see if there are any new developments.
To put it simply, high school students do not need a smart phone, a Facebook account, or a Twitter account. Providing a teenager with a smart phone and a laptop is promoting distraction and bullying. In my opinion, they should not have access to these tools until they have earned them. Reward your children with these tools when they go away to college. Your children will learn so much when they move away to college that the capabilities of a smart phone and a laptop are not nearly as exciting as their new environment.