StopBullyingGov 5

Texting has become a common form of communication today.  Actually I think more people text than they actually speak.

Without being in front of a person it is easier to be bold with your words, or should I say keystrokes.  This is why people, especially teens and kids need to remember there is a real person at the other end of a text message.

Some email services have a unique feature that gives you the ability to retrieve an email if it hasn’t been opened.  If you sent something that you reconsidered or possibly sent it to the wrong recipient — in some cases you retrieve it.

However with text messages, it is gone.  You text, you send, you hope it is not only the right person, but it isn’t anything that is harmful or hurtful or can even come back to haunt you!  Sexting is not only about explicit photos — it can be about your social behavior on digital devices.

Cell phones have become a weapon of choice for bullies.  It is a way to instantly send cyber-cruel words to people — what I refer to as cyber-bullets, that emotionally scar a person for a very long time.

Texting also can be disoriented.  People can take texts out of context and before you know it there can be hurt feelings and a gossip thread that has spread to a dozen other people — sort of like that old-fashioned telephone game.  Sadly today, the risks of emotional well-being is much higher with the addition of technology.

With this in mind we all need to slow down with our fingers on the keypad and sincerely think before we send a text.  Blindly sending a text can be risky.

Knowing there is a live connection on the other end of that text message – a person with feelings like yourself, digital citizenship is your priority, use your keystrokes with care and kindness.

Your text matters, send it with care.

Take time to learn more about cyberbullying prevention from as well as how to report cyberbullying.  Through knowledge and education we can empower our kids to stand up to bullies.

Always keep in mind, we are their role models. Lead by example.  Online and off, your kids are watching.  Parents matter!

Words can a make a difference. It’s your choice!