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Cyber Bullying Can Be a Child Killer
Children Are At Risk from the Dark Side of Social Media

This is no exaggeration. There are documented cases where children as young as fourteen have been driven to suicide after reading denigrating remarks about themselves on chat lines. Parents and carers need to be aware of the dangers. Some of the apps may seem innocent enough, and they are easy to download; but they are more than just colourful icons on a smart-phone screen. They open the door for a litter of vindictive trolls who take delight in posting cruel comments that hit the kids harder than might be imagined. These apps can be deadly, and they need to be banned!

Most children seem to have smart phones. There's no denying they are handy communication devices; and the apps that provide chat lines give kids the means to share thoughts and confidentialities with their peers that they might prefer not to discuss with parents. Respecting the privacy of youngsters is important and really precludes spying on them; and it is understandable that, when it comes to sensitive and very personal matters, children often find it hard to talk about them with adults. Anyway, carers might reason, friendly banter happens in the school yard every day, so where's the harm in some back-and-forth on-line chat? The truth of it is, there are dangerous individuals lurking in the dark of Social Media who are out to cause pain and suffering simply because they can.

It should be remembered that young people have limited experience of life's problems and how to cope with them. They also respond to criticism and personal insults in ways that reflect their personality which is still only developing. Although those with a strong sense of self-belief may be inclined to dismiss the odd casual smears as inconsequential; the sensitive ones will take demeaning comments about their appearance or attitude on board. These particularly cruel attacks are intended to undermine self-esteem; and despite there being little or no truth in the content, the vulnerable start to believe the lies. If the slurring continues, very soon the victims of this cyber bullying are at an all-time low and on the point of desperation.

Who are the bullies, anyway? Some may know their victims, many don't; all but the most brazen keep their identity a secret. They can do that. Social Media provides them with the opportunity to be whomsoever they wish. Fake on-line profiles are created all the time; but frequently they are unnecessary. There are apps for chat rooms that don't require them. In fact, they exercise practically no control over who uses them and what is said. I am not meaning Facebook, which continually reviews its policies and restrictions regarding public usage to deter and prevent unsavoury postings. I believe that is because the organisers care - about their reputation; about the millions who use the facility. This other lot just don't seem to have consciences. And the concern for all parents should be that the children in their care may possibly have one or more of these dangerous apps on their smart phones. The PDF contains detailed information that should be taken very seriously and, hopefully, passed on.

There are dangerous apps that anyone can download. If your children have them on their phones, they need removing Immediately!

See the PDF for icon images of the apps to look out for, and descriptions of what they purport to provide; plus how they can actually be used to harm your kids.

You don't want your children to become one of these statistics:

In 2016, suicide was the leading cause of death of Australian children between 5 and 17 years of age.

According to the American College Health Association, the suicide rate among young adults, ages 15-24, has tripled since the 1950s and suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students. Suicides among girls ages 15 to 19 doubled from 2007 to 2015, when it reached its highest point in 40 years. The suicide rate for boys ages 15 to 19 grew by 30 percent from 2007 to 2015.

Parents and carers please be vigilant. Your children are at risk from some types of Social Media; and preventing them from accessing the dangerous ones isn't bullying on your part. That is exactly what you are trying to prevent.

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

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