Cyber-bullying is a growing epidemic for teens online, especially since it’s virtually impossible to make the words and pictures go away.
“This kid started threatening me, and then it went online to Instagram,” Samantha Milan, 13, who was cyber-bullied, told CBS News. “The caption said something like, ‘Look who’s hungry.’ It made me feel like I just wanted to die.”
Developers have designed downloadable smartphone apps that can help curb the pain of cyber-bullying for victims like Samantha.
Here’s a list of some different types of apps kids reported were helpful. These applications are available for iOS and Google Play:
1. We Heart It– This form of social networking prevents teens from ganging up on each other online because users can only upload pictures. The app has no capabilities for comments or captions, which is where Samantha was cyber bullied.
2. KnowBullying– This app, geared more towards parents, gives caregivers tips on conversation starters to talk with children to about bullying on and offline. It shows the warning signs that your child is being a bully, or is being bullied.
3. StopIt– Geared towards people who see cyber-bullying online, this app lets anyone report the problem anonymously to either a preselected adult, school officials, or even law enforcement officials.
4. BullyBox– Similar to StopIt, BullyBox allows schools to register with the app so student can anonymously report to them cyber bulling occurring within their own district.
The purpose of all the apps is to make people feel comfortable reporting this behavior. Studies report that one-third of youth are bullied at least once a month, according to an anti-bullying press release on PR Web.
“I felt like I had no one to turn to,” Samantha Taska, 13, who was a victim to bullying, told CBS News. “But you shouldn’t isolate yourself from people, because who are you gonna tell? Tell your best friend, tell your teacher, tell your aunt, tell your uncle, tell someone.”