Cyberstalking has become a major problem for children in America. In fact, roughly
95 % of teens now report having witnessed cyberbullying online. Cyberstalking and cyberbullying may not seem as serious as in-person harassment or assault. However, they can be extremely harmful and can cause victims to feel significant amounts of pain.
In worst case scenarios, cyberstalking can even lead to self-harm or suicide. Here are the top four reasons why teen cyberstalking is so common.
#1 – Roughly 95 % of Teens Have Access to Smartphones
Teens use their smartphones to text each other and connect with each other on apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Many teens take their smartphones everywhere they go. This gives them near perpetual connectedness to the internet and to each other, which creates ample opportunity for cyberstalking.
#2 – Teens are Trying to Figure Out Their Identities… and This Can Be Messy
Teens are at a unique age in life where they are not quite children but they are not yet adults. During this period, the carefree weightlessness of childhood has begun to fade and the challenges of adulthood start to feel very close. As a result, many teens are trying to figure themselves out and where they fit into the social hierarchy at this point. Nobody wants to be on the bottom of the social hierarchy, and so this can result in teens being mean to each other. This is one theory that has been put forth to explain the high prevalence of cyberstalking and cyberbullying among teens.
#3 – Teens Do Not Have Fully Developed Prefrontal Cortexes
The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain that is responsible for thinking about consequences and responding to situations with good judgment. This area of the brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. Because teens do not have fully developed prefrontal cortexes, they simply do not think as logically as adults do and do not make as rational decisions.
Many teens do not fully think about the consequences of cyberstalking. They do not consider how it is going to affect their victims in the long-term and they do not put themselves in their victims’ shoes. They just do it because they think it will be funny or because they think it will make them feel more powerful to hurt someone else.
#4 – Cyberstalking Can Feel Less “Real” Than In-Person Stalking
Many teens have become somewhat desensitized to crimes that are committed online. This is in
Hopefully, one day, cyberstalking will not be as prevalent as it is today. However, for the time being, cyberstalking is a crime that is extremely common and that is only becoming more common. Because of this, parents should take the necessary steps to try to protect their children from cyberstalking.
If your child has been the victim of cyberstalking, then it may be very wise to have him or
Additionally, if you fear your teen isn’t telling you everything and is trying to protect his/her stalker, you may want to consider tracking their cell phone activity. Kidbridge can help you see text messages (both current and deleted), contacts, call activity and more.