A decade ago, if teens were asked who their best friends were, they would name friends who they knew from school years, lived in the same neighborhood, and friends they met at a friend’s party etc. The same question asked today will be answered in terms of Facebook friends, chat buddies and some real life friends. Times have changed and so have people’s interests and choices.
Young people have substituted most physical activities with online activities. Physical games are being replaced by virtual games. Smart phones have become everybody’s (teens and adults) point of focus. Social networking sites have become the preferred channel to maintain friends and make new friends. Young people are excited to add new friends to their list without knowing them personally and love the attention they receive. Soon, you find yourself sharing information about your personal life with a person who seems to “understand you better” though you were only introduced to him/her online. It becomes easier then, to relate with someone online who you can talk to and hear from whenever you want.
However, do you realize that not everybody is who they say they are? A 40 year old could be pretending to be a 16 year old behind the screen, who just happens to be giving smart teen advice. Someone who appears to be a 15 year-old girl, even with a profile photo, may actually be a 25 year old man who wants to have some fun.
Factors to consider when making friends online:
Be Polite: The practice followed when we speak and behave in person with someone should be the same when writing to someone online.
Discuss your concerns: Depressed people are more likely to be bullied; therefore it is always better to resolve issues by taking advice from parents and trusted adults
Silence is resilient: Don’t respond to hurtful messages, stay silent, and block the sender. The bully will get tired of getting no response and cease bullying over time.
Remember respect others and others will respect you.
Is cyber bullying seen only over social media?