Jerusalem24 – After a year full of “Corona”, “Go have a test”, “Online Shopping and Shipping Companies” , “Where is the Zoom link?”, “Rest in Peace” and “When will this year end” until we reached “I won’t take the vaccine!”
Similar and repeated scenarios lived by almost all the people in the world, which made this year a nightmare that everyone hopes it ends before its misfortunes become heavier, especially children who suffer from increased harassment, abuse, bullying and sexual exploitation due to the orientation to distance education in light of the Corona pandemic hence spending longer hours on the Internet.
UNICEF published a report on International Children’s Day, which showed an increase in the rate of children’s exposure to electronic bullying to 64% during the Coronavirus and distance learning, of whom 66% were psychologically affected and 16% canceled their accounts or stopped using social media for a while, which experts consider a “tocsin” that must be considered, especially since the numbers of reports and complaints at the Child and Family Protection Centers are still low.
In a talk with the engineer, Hana Al-Ramli, a consultant expert and lecturer in protecting children and the family from the dangers of the Internet, who defined bullying as a type of violence that some use to achieve abuse through some behaviors such as data manipulation, defamation, embarrassment, stalking, control, threats, repression and insulting in addition to the worst types of bullying, which is sexual harassment Which makes the child subjected to bullying tends to sadness, confusion and constant anxiety in addition to disturbances in concentration and memory, decline in academic achievement, neglect of self or general form, and the tendency to isolation.
on the other hand, being subjected to harassment, it is noticed that the child receives calls from strangers, gifts, money, or the child himself makes suspicious calls or becomes anxious whenever his/her parents suddenly enters the room, or finding an electronic device in his/her possession without the knowledge of the family.
Al-Ramli also indicated that the spread of social media is one of the most important causes of the increase in bullying, including facilities such as the use of fake names, referring to the bully on these sites as a real-life bully, but these platforms allow him to impose his power and control more due to the lack of censorship and the ease of harassing the victim without Punishment and reckoning.
As for the reasons for the increase in this phenomenon in the distance learning period are due to the increase in the time children spend on the Internet, whether in education or entertainment, due to the situation imposed by the Corona pandemic on children and their families, especially with the lack of awareness and the fact that some are using the Internet for the first time ever.
Among the most prominent causes of bullying is also the content that spreads on some applications such as Tik Tok, which teenagers make up the largest proportion of its users and the feelings of jealousy that it leaves towards their peers who have achieved wide fame, and some of them faced psychological problems because of the continuous bullying that ended up in suicide.
from her side, Al-Ramli called for the need to spread awareness among children in schools and also to educate parents -because they are the foundation children lean on- about the social, psychological and technical protection methods, enhancing the child’s self-confidence, giving them a lot of love and time and confirming their presence as a support in all cases. Moreover, the existence of a permanent and calm dialogue that allows children to talk and declare what are the problems they face.
On the technical side, it is necessary to determine and regulate the times of use of the Internet and electronic devices, and to monitor the uses, directly and indirectly, to prevent them from publishing personal information that may harm them, and at the same time learning how to use the “help” in the applications used.
Al-Ramli touched on the need to go to the Cybercrime Unit and child and family protection institutions to put an end to bullying and refer the bully to psychiatry to be addressed to the many reasons that led to the creation of the bully’s personality, which has become a phenomenon that must end in a time where children live, entertain and learn on the Internet.