cyberbullying, stop cyberbullying, workplace bullying

Beware of a New Trend in Cyberbullying: Roasting

Most adults are familiar with the entertainment version of the word “roasting.” Roasts are traditionally intended as lighthearted dinners where various guests take turns “roasting” a guest of honor with good-natured jokes at that person’s expense. The key here is the phrase “good-natured.” As we’ve all witnessed, it can get awkward and downright uncomfortable. A roast that turns from lighthearted to vicious is becoming all too common. Guess who’s catching onto it? Your teenagers. Too Young to Roast It all started with the hashtag #roastme. Teenagers would post a picture or video on a social media channel (i.e., Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, or a group text) of themselves with that hashtag. Like a traditional “roast,” they gave people consent to make funny comments about what they posted. However, like most things exposed online, the opportunity to post malicious, hurtful comments have gone unchecked and spiraled out of control. This is such a dangerous trend that teenagers are often too young to understand the unimaginable repercussions. Teenagers are also more likely to follow others, feeling justified in participating and escalating the negative, hurtful remarks to make themselves look “cooler.” It happens so fast there is no time to distinguish the...

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Protect Teens from Themselves

Protecting Our Teens from Themselves

It’s a common sight today to see a teen bowed over their smart device while frantically typing/taking/posting pictures on social media channels, or posting text messages. Shaking our heads and asking them to “put it away” from time to time is not working. We as adults must engage to protect our teens from themselves. If we don’t, the potential consequences of destroyed self-confidence and/or a spiral into despair leading more and more young people to suicidal thoughts/attempts will continue to escalate. We must parent more to protect our teens from themselves. Know Who They Know “It’s better to know the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”. This is still sound advice. When someone comes to the house to pick up a teen, we still (or usually) ask to meet them. Why don’t we do this for online friends who are digitally invited into our homes every day, and in some cases, literally any time of day via smart device/phone? Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not asking you as a parent to “follow” everyone your teen does on XYZ social media channel – that’s impossible! But I do mean to insist on access to their social media channels,...

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