In 2005, a study estimated that42 percent of children and teens are bullied online at some point in their lives. With the increasing use of cell phones, social media, iPads, and so many other technologies among young children today, that statistic has likely even risen within recent years.
If you are a parent, it's very likely your child has either been bullied or has bullied someone else online, maybe without even realizing it.
In 2014, the Church released a video addressing this growing concern, one that quickly resonated with LDS youth and parents. In the video, President Uchtdorf shared this simple counsel: “This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!”
Recently, Elder Quentin L. Cook unflinchingly addressed this same topic in aFacebook post, saying:
"It is common today to hide one’s identity when writing hateful, vitriolic, bigoted communications anonymously online.
"Any use of the Internet to bully, destroy a reputation, or place a person in a bad light is reprehensible. What we are seeing in society is that when people wear the mask of anonymity, they are more likely to engage in this kind of conduct, which is so destructive of civil discourse. It also violates the basic principles the Savior taught.
"The righteous need not wear masks to hide their identity. I encourage you to continue to seek to become who you should be—a disciple of Jesus Christ in thought and in action. Set goals to apply Christlike attributes to your lives and pray for help in developing them. As you do, you will allow yourself to be an influence for good wherever you are."
It's time for us to speak up and reach out to stop this growing problem. Learn how to talk to children and young teenagers about bullying with the use of these resources:
The Sad Truth About Bullying at Church
What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied or Being the Bully