I promised to take you with me on my journey to becoming Good Morning America’s 21st Century Advice Guru. This is the third of four sample advice questions on the job application:
What would you tell this person: “While cleaning my son’s room, I accidentally saw on his Facebook page threatening remarks from his friends. I fear he’s being bullied. What should I do?” (150 words or less)
Following is my response.
You ACCIDENTALLY saw threatening remarks? Drop the charade. You were snooping. Don’t be influenced by popular notions that teenagers are entitled to privacy, especially when it comes to matters that jeopardize safety! It’s your responsibility to monitor your son’s technology use! Talk to your son. Even if he denies being cyber-bullied (and he probably will), establish rules. Empower your son. Teach him how to handle cyber-bullying.
- Ignore comments. Don’t respond.
- Don’t delete anything.
- Confide in a trusted adult and report offenses.
- Treating a cyber-bully this way makes him powerless.
- Create a Facebook account. Become “friends” with your son. Check his profile daily. *
- Know your son’s password. Periodically sign into his account and check private messages. *
- Search for pages with titles like “I Hate …” containing your son’s name. *
- Immediately report cyber-bullying to Facebook. *
SPECIAL NOTE: Cyber-bullying is becoming a pandemic. I spent several hours reading articles on cyber bullying in an effort to answer the above question. What I found is that depending on the survey, anywhere from 20 to 70 percent of teenagers polled reported being a victim or perpetrator of cyber-bullying. Bullying, no matter where it takes place, is degrading and undermines fundamental decency and humanity. If you take nothing else from Just Another Ordinary Day, remember these rules.
- “Treat others as you would have others treat you.” The Golden Rule
- “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” IYCSSN Rule
I welcome your comments and remember I waive my right to invoke the IYCSSN Rule. Oh! And don’t forget to vote…Antoinette Datoc for GMA 21st Century Advice Guru!