Using the Tik Tok app as an example, you can quickly watch a video, leave a hate comment, then move on to the next video without seeing any kind of immediate reaction. Some people will choose to react to hate comments, but a lot of time hate comments go unanswered, and those who leave the comments never see the damage they may have caused.
Other influencers embrace the hate and will respond to hate comments so the commenter receives a notification, comes back, and watches their video again. Since creators get paid per thousand views, it doesn’t matter if the person who watches the video likes it or not! This behavior may be encouraging online bullying since the bullies are receiving the online attention they are craving.
This also may be a sign that kids are becoming desensitized to bullying online and are expecting it when it shouldn’t be that way. There is no reason young teens and even young adults should expect to receive hate comments as a normal part of internet use.
No matter how much you tell a teen to ignore hate comments, there will always be a small part of them that cares what other people think. It is increasingly apparent that it is hard to grow up in a time when everything you do is documented at all times, including your mistakes and embarrassing moments.
We are living in a time where we have access to more people and content online that sometimes we act before taking the time to process what we have done. The internet is instant and forever. Mindfulness is a key tool you should be exercising when you are online and you should teach your kids to do the same.
By being mindful when you are online, you can take a moment and think before leaving a comment or posting a status. Think twice about how your comment will make the other person feel and how you might feel receiving a comment like that.
Bullying is a learned behavior and every time a child gets away with it they become more confident being a bully as an adult. If you notice your child having aggressive behavior, hurting the feelings of others, or manipulating those around them to always get what they want you might be dealing with a bully.
This might be a good time to reflect on your behavior and think about if you are the source of that learned bullying behavior. Even if you treat everyone with respect at home you also have to be mindful of how you treat people when you go out to eat, when you’re driving, or when you’re picking up food at a drive-thru.
Even if you don’t think something is considered bullying, that doesn’t mean the person on the receiving end isn’t feeling hurt. Teach your child the difference between bothering and bullying and how to avoid crossing the line.
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