Social media etiquette could prevent bullying

50 percent of teens are bullied online

Author: Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 21 2014 11:38:50 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 22 2014 12:28:00 AM EST
Social media etiquette
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

With the prevalence of social media, there are new concerns this way to connect with friends and family is becoming a platform for bullying.

"When I was a kid bullying was outside playing and somebody was picking on you or in school," said Laverne Cuyler.

Cuyler's 16-year-old daughter deactivated her Facebook for a period after her friend was bullied online.

"She saw some things on her friend's page from other people that she didn't appreciate," said Cuyler. "For her, one of the ways she felt she could support her friend was to shut down her Facebook page."

The latest numbers show more than 50 percent of teens have been bullied online. That's why some experts said kids need to learn social media etiquette.

Dwann Rollinson is a social media expert and local pastor, and has counseled parents in this situation. She believes teaching kids to be nice to each other, offline and on, will stop the cycle of bullying.

"If you hit me 20 times, after awhile I'm going to cry," said Rollinson. "I'm going to do something and I'm going to lash out on you as well. So what we have to understand is when you're bullying, it's a cycle that sometimes doesn't end until the child grows up."

Rollinson said there are many good behavior habits kids to teach your kids now:

--Ask permission before "tagging" someone in a photo

--Only be "friends with" or "follow" people you know

--Don't make inappropriate comments online

Above all, Rollinson said parents shouldn't be afraid to monitor what their kids are doing online. That's an idea Cuyler hopes catches on not only with parents but with kids as they grow.

"I think it plays a major role in not only who they are now, but who they will become in the future," said Cuyler.