Is there a logical reason why a teen or adolescent, who gets bullied online, would keep returning to the scene of the crime, the Facebook page of the perpetrator?
“Cyberbullied kids might continue to visit a bully’s social media pages because, as with all of us, information is power,” explains Misty Rosier, a licensed clinical mental health clinician out of Utah who has worked with teens for 15+ years and is a frequent presenter on the topic of bullying.
“The victim is most likely having all-consuming thoughts about the bully and the bullying.
“Watching the bully’s Facebook page and checking in on what is happening is an attempt on the part of the victim to obtain some sense of control.”
Not all bullied kids will be driven to do this, however. When they realize that a classmate’s Facebook page and other social media pages contain cruel posts, these targeted kids will simply never look there again.
They know it’s continuing to go on, but they’ll fight the temptation to take a peak. The more free time they have on their hands, the more difficult this temptation will be to resist.
If there are far more interesting things to do in life than check in on the latest cruel postings by Breeanna, Jenni, Bob or Tommy, then the targeted child will be less drawn to the bully’s Facebook and other social media postings.
Some kids may feel there’s nothing more interesting to do. This is where the parents come in.
Get your child involved in empowering activities like rock-wall climbing, martial arts, powerlifting and volunteer work.
Rosier cites another reason for why kids keep going back to their bullies’ Facebook postings: “They are also, like most adolescents, interested in fitting in. They are curious about each other and can be desperate for information.”
If your child is the target of online harassment, see if you can find a site that welcomes writers under the age of 18, and encourage your teen or adolescent to write about bullying — how it makes them feel, what can be done about it, etc.
This will discourage them from spending time perusing the cyber bully’s social media.