A Wired Family Update: The Impact of Bullying & Cyber-bullying on Teens & Tweens

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It is hard to read or watch the news today without seeing or hearing stories concerning the sexual misconduct of entertainers, politicians, news anchors and others.

However, often lost in the conversation about adult society is the issue of bullying and cyberbullying among teens and tweens. I can tell you from my work with schools, cyberbullying is still by far the greatest concern for school administrators.

As you no doubt know, over 20 million people viewed the heart-breaking video of Keaton Jones as he told his story of being bullied in school. Like many of you, I questioned why his mom would post the video – but it touched the hearts of millions and — brought to light the silent suffering of so many children due to bullying.

What has not changed in centuries — is that kids have always tried to find where they fit in. Teens by nature struggle with self-image and confidence which often displays itself in various forms.

To shed light on these issues, AT&T-produced the film, “There’s a Soul Behind That Screen”.  This is an excellent, 20-minute film for both parents, teens, and tweens related to the misuse of technology among our youth and the possible real-life consequence.

Accompanying the film is a written guide produced by Common Sense Media and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, providing tools to identify signs of bullying and most importantly, helpful tips on to handle such issues.

But there are many, many additional resources for families, such as:

AT&T’s #LaterHaters Resource page which helps you and your child block out the haters.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s the Upstander Pledge to unite communities.

And the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative —a page for victims of non-consensual porn?

And while texting is often the source of pain for teens and adults – it can also be the source to help. The Crisis Text Line is available 7 days per week, 24 hours per day to help your child in their most difficult hour. Simply text 741741. You or your child will be connected to someone that can help.

We hope that you find the following video provides some perspective on the issues of bullying and cyberbullying – in addition to providing additional resources for parents, teens and school administrators.

To discover more about your child’s use of technology, and how you can help guide them through digital life, please consider ordering our book. All proceeds go to future research that supports our mission to educate families on their child’s digital tattoo.


NOTE: If you’d like us to come to your school or organization for our presentation on the impact of social media on teens, please contact us at: marybeth@awiredfamily.org


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