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Increased screen time during COVID-19 pandemic increases risk for cyberbullying

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 17:45:42-04

Throughout the pandemic, many children have spent more time on devices, either for virtual school, social activities or while their parents are working. Experts are saying that increased screen time also increases the risk of cyberbullying.

From virtual learning to social media, children and teens are surrounded by technology, and that's not always a good thing.

"There's no escape from cyberbullying because it follows you home because your technology follows you home," said Angie Boy, Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children.

Boy says cyberbullying is using any electronic means to intimidate, harass, threaten or demean a person.

"Children have higher levels of anxiety, higher levels of depression as a result of dealing with cyberbullying," said Boy. "Which can ten have an impact on their behaviors as they continue to age."

There are cyberbullying signs to spot, such as your child may not be using their device as much or stop going to the same apps. They may try to hide the screen when an adult is around or avoid social situations with certain friend groups.

Boy says to set technology rules, for how long and when they're allowed to be on.

"Have open conversations with your child. You want to know where they're going online. Who are they talking to? What apps are they using? You want to have their user names and passwords and make sure you're checking in on them pretty routinely."

Parents should also stay up to date on the latest technology, how to use and what apps are available so you know what your child is using.