What is Online Roasting? Signs Your Teen is Being Cyberbullied
Roasting is a term from
Initially, roasting can start out innocuous and light-hearted; however, that is not where it always ends. Teens of all ages and genders are participating in the new trend. But a recent study points to research showing that girls are more likely to cyberbully and be bullied online, including roasting. Below are a few ways to discuss roasting with your child and how to know if it has moved from banter to bullying.
Open up a dialogue about bullying, cyberbullying and roasting. Ask
Some children are afraid to come forward about being roasted, even when it has moved into bullying. This is because they don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t take a joke. You can explain that humiliating, harsh criticism is not roasting — it is bullying. If the roasting has moved from something silly to something hurtful, then it’s no longer a joke and it’s okay to ask a trusted adult for help. Validate their feelings and together come up with a solution on how to respond to the bullying. Recommend solutions that revolve around consent, being a responsible digital citizen, and using empathy when faced with tough situations.
Talk About Consent
While Reddit may not be the best model for social behavior, the original postings were Redditors who consented to the roasts. However, now that roasting has spread to other social media platforms this is not always the case. Discussions about consent in this context can help your child understand when roasting turns to
One thing to remind your children is that “yes” is not a forever and always word. Just because someone has initially consented to some silly joking around doesn’t mean they have consented to more than that. And even if they did initially consent, they can say no later. Respecting whether or not someone has consented to protracted banter is part of being a smart digital citizen. Online responsibility includes checking in and making sure people are still okay with how the conversation is going.
Digital Citizenship and Empathy
One way to be a responsible digital citizen is to employ empathy in communications online. Talk to your child about what empathy means, have a discussion about what being kind and compassionate looks like. Ask them, “If you were in the other person’s shoes how would you feel about the things that are being said?” Or remind them that if they wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, they should not say it on social media. It’s important for kids to understand this concept, even if they are using sites where posts are anonymous. Everyone has a responsibility to be a positive influencer in their group by being courteous and respectful in communications. This is true even when it’s a group text among friends.
Remind your children that it is okay to have fun with their friends through social media, but to think about their actions and to not have fun at another person’s expense. An open dialogue that focuses on consent and empathy can help your child navigate social media with an intent to have positive interactions.