The rise of the cyber-bully

What’s your take on the recent cyber-bullying incidents? There seem to be more and more of them, and I wonder what parents can do to ensure that kids are safe. What do you recommend? Why do people use the Internet to commit such heinous acts?

In the old days, kids were made fun of on the playground, maybe pushed around, and there would be 10-30 kids there to witness it. Cyberspace is the 2010 version of the playground, and it offers potential for great danger since its reach is huge. Its relative anonymity makes it a powerful tool for intimidation and limits the possibility of getting caught. It’s also easier to be mean when there isn’t face-to-face contact. Cyber-bullying can lead to the spread of vicious rumors, lies, threats, harassment, stalking and embarrassment — and it strikes at the heart of what is critically important to most young people: social acceptance. And the toll of deaths by suicide continues to grow alarmingly.

Tips for parents

Here’s what parents can do to safeguard their children:

1
Know the signs of being bullied: feeling upset when online, withdrawal, not wanting to go to school and depression.

2
Educate them on what cyber-bullying is so that they can recognize it. Provide examples of what is acceptable online behavior and what is not. 

3
Encourage kids to come to you if they feel they’re being bullied. 

4
Keep the computer in a central location.

5
Encourage kids to make friends offline, as bullies usually target those they see as isolated and leave kids alone who have a strong group of friends.

–Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Rockets fired from south Lebanon toward Israel: news…

At least two rockets were fired on Saturday from southern Lebanon toward Israel, Lebanon's national news agency said, without saying who had launched them.

National

Obama to examine police use of military hardware…

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…