Text message bullying, much like online cyber bullying, is fairly new. Due to technology, youth are now able to bully others in more create ways. These bullies are no longer limited to verbal or physical bullying, but instead can carry on in virtual ways where individuals continue to read the messages over and over, having a greater (more negative) psychological impact.
Given the pervasiveness of mobile phones and ubiquity of SMS text messages, mobile phones have unfortunately become the new weapon of choice for bullies and young people. With upwards of three-quarters of all teens now owning a mobile phone, the anonymity, sluggishness of telecommunications service providers, and the weakness of law provide bullies with the perfect means of taunting their target with little fear of being caught.
Text / SMS, and online chat bullying has become a serious problem among adolescents and can have devastating consequences. Parents may not even know it’s occurring, or may not know the context of the discussions being had. This is where sites like www.transl8it.com, a free, online text and chat lingo translator come to play.
Parents can play an important role in preventing text bullying and helping teens who have been the victim of a text bully by understanding what is being said. Often ‘coded messages’ that are a derivative of the English language, and representation of youth lingo are understood by those who perform sms and txt, or online chat.
Online cyber bullying by text is defined as sending mean, embarrassing, untrue, or hurtful message to or about someone using cell phone text messaging. Being in written form, these messages do not go away and can escalate including being sent to more people, or even change in context to include sexually suggestive text messages known as “sexting” to someone or about someone.
Talk to your kids about text bullying and why it is wrong. Tell them if they ever are the victim or contributors that they need to know that is wrong. They should not respond to the bullying, but instead should save it to report to a parent or teacher. If the message is sexual or threatening in nature they can report it to the police, who can easily trace it and take legal action against the bully or bullies.
VICTIM OF CYBERBULLYING BY TEXT, SMS, CHAT?
Are you or someone you know a victim of cyber bullying by text message or chat lingo? If you think so the following are tips from StopBullying.GOV that encourage you to:
(i) Steps to Take Immediately (e.g., do not respond and do not forward messages. Keep records of the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers)
(ii) Report Cyberbullying to Online Service Providers (e.g., if terms of service by social media sites and internet service providers are violated, then report the activity to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service)
(iii) Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement (e.g., when cyberbullying involves activities that are considered a crime such as privacy violation, hate crimes, stalking, etc., it should be reported to law enforcement immediately)
(iv) Report Cyberbullying to Schools (e.g., cyberbullying at school and is often related to in-person bullying and the school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies. Many schools now have anti-bullying policies which can help you chart the course of action) .