ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cyber Bullying: Dealing with the Faceless Threat

Updated on October 2, 2017
DMChristiansen profile image

Activist, speaker and author of several books including Planet A: a Mother's Memoir of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

All it takes is a phone.

Be aware of what your children are seeing on social media.

When my son entered middle school, I began to worry more and more about bullying. I expected some name calling and even some exclusion. Because my son struggles with high functioning autism, he has been a target for bullying as early as elementary school. What I didn’t expect, as he got older was the string of horrible direct messages that he received via Instagram just after the start of eighth grade. Since that time, I have seen countless cases of cyber bullying, both towards my son and to a handful of his friends. I have been shocked at the language used but also at the level of anger that many bullies have towards their victims. It may seem remote, but cyber bullies have more freedom to stalk their victims using their electronic devices, and children are less likely to report this type of abuse. Cyber bullying can range from hurtful words to harassment and stalking. With more and more children carrying cellphones at an earlier age, the door has been wide open for cyber bullying. As a parent there are a few things that you can do to ensure your child’s safety.

Be Aware: From the moment that I put a phone in my son’s hand, I made sure that I knew what was on his phone. His Instagram and Snap Chat accounts were linked with my own. He didn’t always like that I knew what he was doing, but I explained the importance of monitoring his accounts. I let him know that I trusted him but that I didn’t necessarily trust everyone else. When the terrible messages came in, I saw them and acted. Sometimes the cyber bullying isn’t as obvious as hurtful words. There have been cases of classmates impersonating other classmates via Instagram and Facebook and putting them in embarrassing situations. They may post embarrassing pictures or tag a huge number of classmates under this fake account. It can get messy fast. The best thing to do when allowing your child to be active on these sites is to limit their contacts and posting venue. Be aware of who they are following and who is following them, and block any inappropriate behavior. I have also asked my son’s closest friend to watch his sites and to let me know if there is anything disturbing on them. Sometimes it’s easier to tell a friend about cyber bullying than an adult.

Be Nonreactive: First let me say that it is important to report any cyber bullying by either blocking the bully or reporting the activity to the site manager. You can also notify the school and let them be aware of the activity. Take screen shots to document it as well. But the best thing that I taught my son was to be nonreactive. It can be easier to respond to a cyber bully especially since there is no face-to-face requirement and all it takes is a few minutes to type an angry response. But responding in that way only fuels the fire. Even in the hurt that your child might feel, it’s important to stop and think about what would make another child say and do such hurtful things. Reinforce the positive that you see in your child and let them know how proud you are that they can walk away from such hurtful behavior.

Be a Friend: Even if your child is not the victim of cyber bullying, teach them how to stand by their friends if they become victims. Support bullied friends on social media by letting them know that you do not accept this kind of behavior. Help them to emphasize the positive things that they see in their friend and let them know that what is happening is not their fault. They can also report inappropriate behavior to the site manager or to a grown up. If things get out of control, they can help their friend document it through screen shots.

There are a few things that you can do to help stop cyber bullying before it has a chance to stop. Ask your child to be cautious about the information they share through these sites. Limit personal information. Sharing information can be used against them, even by strangers. Also, tell them not to give other people access to their phones or accounts.

Facts you should know.

Cyber Bullying Facts
Half of all teens have been cyber bullied.
1:10 report cyber bullying incidents.
1:5 teens have sent sexually explicit photos of themselves via phone.
Because often times cyber bullying is not reported, a child can internalize the damage.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)