DENVER — Social media is a powerful force and can bring unintended consequences.
While the tool has a lot of positives, experts say it can be a lot for children to handle, especially when they’re being bullied.
Bullying has always happened at school and on the playground, but now it’s happening at home as well.
“Instead of bullying being something that we were used to between the time of 8 and 3, now we have to deal with bullying 24/7,” parent Kerilyn Vox said.
Technology never sleeps, the cellphone, tablet and computer give people access to social media at any hour.
“It`s something I didn’t think would be so impactful at the age that my kids are already at,” Vox said.
Experts echo that sentiment. Shawn Worthy, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver said bullying is a hurdle in itself and social media is no help.
“Typically, that would be a one day event, but the problem becomes with social media, is that event can be repeated day and after day after day, and not repeated, but spread,” Worthy said.
“Every time the child watches this the trauma is occurring over and over again.”
Worthy said the best way to shield children from that trauma may mean limiting their online habits.
“Parents certainly have to be parents and put in restrictions and so on,” Worthy said.
”My kids aren’t allowed on social media right now. At 8 and 10, I don’t allow them to have Facebook, I don’t allow them to have a Snapchat,” Vox said.
“I review my daughter’s phone on a daily basis and make sure that I know who she’s talking to, who she’s friending, and just stay vigilant.”
Worthy said if you find out your child is being bullied at school and it somehow gets on social media, take action and see if it can get taken down.