Teenagers without technology are nowadays hard to imagine. They wish to stay connected with their friends, share their personal information online and love to tell their stories to public. It might look appealing to them for once, even get them fame and power to influence but little do they know the negative repercussions. By adding their personal lives in the form of stories, feed and videos, they may fall into the trap of cyberbullying, which is a potential threat to not just their data but also their personal lives and mental health.
It has been reported that the majority of kids are being cyberbullied on Instagram than other platforms (approximately 42%) either through harassment, impersonation, personal photographs, video shaming or spreading false rumors about one another. Since these activities can create stress, depression and taint a person’s image, therefore it is needed that parents and guardians must keep an eye out for their children’s activities on Instagram.
Check out some News Reports that display the cruel reality.
7 Ways Teenagers Are Cyberbullying On Instagram
1. Posting Embarrassing Content
If a person finds compromising photos or videos of a child, there are chances that someone could be blackmailing the child. Cyberbullying could appear in the form of various faces; using personal pictures for blackmailing, posting them to humiliate or to take ‘revenge’ for prior actions.
2. Insulting Captions
Posting GIFs and memes is fun, but when there is an insulting caption directed towards a kid, it makes him/her feel ashamed or guilty. For example, posting comments like “This is so @username” under the picture of an overweight girl is deplorable.
3. Unpleasant Comments
Commenting abusive words under the post or body-shaming someone is another way of cyberbullying.
4. Adding Ugly Hashtags
If someone is posting a picture of a classmate with tags like #ugly, #mean or #stupidestperson or other infamous hashtags, then it could taint the person’s image. It is because hashtags are meant to publish a post on a larger scale where anyone who is searching using the same hashtag, could reach the post.
5. Fake Account
Some of the bullies go to the extent of creating a false account of your kid and post rude comments or abusive pictures from the same account. It somehow shows that your kid is posting by himself and ruining the kid’s image and impacting his/her wellbeing.
6. Screenshots Of Private Texts
Imagine your private conversation being posted on a social media account, exposing your thoughts out in the open! If this dreadful thing happens to your child, it could be heartwrenching and trust-breaking.
7. Screenshots Of Video Calls
This is another example of cyberbullying. Someone your kid spoke to yesterday might have captured the personal moments and posted them online. Some bullies try to lure others for an inappropriate act to defame the other person.
All of these acts mentioned must be watched out, and it is imperative to combat these actions by right means.
Teenagers, What To Do If You Are Being Bullied?
Instagram says “There is no place for bullying on Instagram. If people see that kind of hurtful behavior on our platform, they can report it, and we remove any content that violates our guidelines.” We hope you have guessed it that Instagram is ready to be with you if anything wrong is happening with you over the platform.
- Use Instagram’s anti-bullying tools to keep you safe. Restrict feature is one such anti-bullying feature of Instagram. If you find an unwanted comment on your post, long tap on it, tap on the exclamation mark, and a set of the menu will unfold. Now you will not get any messages from the person, and their sent messages would turn themselves into Message Requests. The user will also not be able to know if you have opened their message or not.
- Report a profile whom you feel is bullying you. Go to the profile of the person whom you want to report, tap on three horizontal dots(iOS) or vertical dots(Android) and choose Report. Follow the instructions that come along. (NOTE: The person whom you are reporting about will not know about your action, so feel free to report the cyberbullies)
- New anti-bullying features, including deleting bulk comments and controlling who tags you and mention you are helping to make your online presence safe.
- If you find someone less than 13 years of age using Instagram (which is the minimum age to open an Instagram account), report it or tell them how to delete Instagram account permanently.
- Go to Settings > Privacy to customize changes as per your liking. For example, you can block comments from certain people without blocking them entirely or do not allow them to tag.
- This bullying comment filter or anti-bullying tool also allows you to filter comments during the live videos, which doesn’t let any negativity to flow in.
- ‘Create Don’t hate sticker’ on Instagram has been introduced to call out for creativity and remove all the bullying activities online.
Parents, What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied?
Protect Your Instagram From Ghosts & Spam (Recommended way)
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Dear parents, if you find that your child is being bullied in his school, don’t be afraid to take legal actions but before anything, keep these points in mind.
- Reassure your child that you are there for him, no matter what. Your emotional and mental support is the first thing that a teenager wants to win your trust.
- Make sure you inform the administration about the same. If bullying is happening online, there are chances that it is also happening on the premises.
- Take your kid out on a break and empower him with better ideas on how to deal with such situations.
- Tell your child not to retaliate as this is what cyberbullies want from them.
- If cyberbullying has turned into a criminal nature, contact the local law enforcement. If you are still unsure whether you should go for it or not, ask your child’s school resource officer for help. Keep a check on your state’s cyber-harassment law for detailed information.
- Discuss all the laws and procedures with your child. If he or she speaks with you correctly, you both can chalk out a better way together.
- Ask your child to visit the school counselor so that he may be able to undo the impact of cyberbullying.
In The End!
Stay strong and don’t hesitate to speak against cyberbullying. Where Instagram is always keeping any eyes again cyberbullying and updating itself with anti-bullying tools, your awareness and capacity to stand against wrong is the course of action.
Also, check out:
- Secure your chats using ‘Lock for Insta’ social app
- How to stop someone from following you on Instagram
- How to clean Instagram? Read the tips.
Do not forget to share your views and opinions in the comments section below!