I am 31 years old. I know that is not "old" by any means. However, when I compare the world I grew up in as a child to what children have and do now - there seems to be a world of difference, and it was not even that long ago. When I was in high school, I remember passing notes between classes to my best friends or sticking them inside lockers. This was how we "shared a post" with someone. Our emojis were drawn out with a pen like this :( or :) and unless someone broke your trust and passed the note onto another to see, no one else in the world knew what you had wrote.
In 2018, you cannot sneeze without someone knowing about it thanks to social media. While I am one of the biggest advocates for how social media is a tool for good, I also know there are negatives. The internet and social media have given bullies a platform to target innocent victims and harm their peers.
About a year ago, a group of students from a local high school came to listen to Fourge Social give a presentation on social media as a career and being safe on the platforms. For the first time ever, I experienced a real example of what I had been talking to audiences about. A freshman female student shared with me in a small group discussion that her classmates would comment on her Facebook page, telling her to “drink bleach and die.” Let that comment sink in for a second. How could someone possibly say something this terrible to another person? This student told me she did not report these individuals because she did not want to be teased even more or get anyone in trouble. Thankfully, social media platforms, like Facebook, recognize this problem and take cyberbullying seriously.
On October 3rd, Facebook announced that "you can now report bullying or harassment on Facebook on behalf of someone else and hide/delete multiple comments at once." I urge you to learn more about this resource and speak to your children and school administrators about this topic. View the Facebook Bullying Prevention Hub at https://www.facebook.com/safety/bullying.
If you have questions about social media safety for your children or would like to see a program done at your child's school on this topic, contact our team at Fourge Social today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to be a part of making social media a positive place for all to post.