Roasting as a new trend in cyberbullying: how to prevent it.

#Roastme an innocent hashtag that hides a new form of cyberbullying. mSpy team has investigated the topic to educate parents and protect kids online.

Kids post pictures on social media and ask friends to “roast them” which means insult or tease. Psychologists claim teasing can be harmful and even dangerous. Let’s go deeper into this new social media trend and see if it’s worth ringing alert bells.

 What is roasting?

Children post pictures and videos on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. with the hashtag #Roastme. After that, friends, followers, strangers – anybody can insult the owner of the video or picture. The insults might be humorous and innocent, but they can easily turn into mean and hurtful ones.

What do teens think of it themselves?

A teen said roasting is kind of a kid thing. It’s a half joke, a half insult. Other students confessed seeing their mates participate in it. The most popular insult is comparing a person to an animal.

A student explained ABC News‘ T.J. Holmes that it’s not always lighthearted. Some people really get seriously offended which leads to depression and social isolation.

Questions every parent should ask?

If a kid asks to insult not just friends but strangers, how can I be sure that they will be nice when commenting the picture or a video?

How can I make sure that the insulter (a classmate, a neighbor, a stranger, etc.) sees the difference between being funny and crossing the line?

How can I know that strangers are not abusers, online predators, etc. who leave offensive comments intentionally?

What are the potential results?

Experts say this kind of teasing can cause emotional scars and psychological problems.

Stephanie Humphrey, a “tech life” expert, says that children might be already depressed. And so insulting can “send them over the edge”.

The mean-spirited way of joking can influence your child’s mood. So if a child is called “fat cow”, it can cause anxiety and, as a result, undereating or even worse.

A kid when bullied can lose interest in building relationships and activities because they feel they do not fit in, they are different. Sadness, anxiety, depression are accompanying effects, which can last till adulthood.

Loss of self-esteem is another negative side of teasing. Children can feel abnormal and ashamed for who they are because their appearance and behavior are mocked at. This, in due turn, causes complexes and inefficacity in an adult life.

Students who do not participate in #Roastme complain this affects them as well at a social level.

Some students don’t go on social media because they witnessed other people insulted the person who had posted pictures. They don’t like watching it.

There are some who also saw it and it made them feel like they participated in it. Besides, they feel responsible if some stuff happens to that insulted person.

Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist, is sure that parents must know what their children are doing online. She also puts it together with self-destructive behavior a kid tends to.

Can hashtags be harmful?

Let’s say that by clicking on a hashtag, people see all the posts on that particular subject. Thus, a hashtag “#Roastme” is a trigger, an attraction to all potential abusers, bullies, and hunters for kids.

By the way, the Blue Whale Challenge became a worldwide calamity. Both “games” have something in common – a hashtag. In Blue Whale, kids look for a curator on social media by posting hashtags like #curatorfindme, #i_am_whale, #bluewhalechallenge, etc. So after that, a found person gives 50 fatal challenges, the last of them ends up with suicide.

(Read Can Parental Controls Prevent Blue Whale Challenge? to know more about the game and how to prevent it.)

The first thing to do when facing unhealthy social media trends for kids is prevention.

Whatever the problem is, talk to your kid. Communicate the idea that cyberbullying is a horrible thing which brings pain, emotional hurt, and even death. Speak about treating people properly.

Cultivate the relationships of trust and openness so that your kid opens up to you if they are cyberbullied. Tell them to confess if they ever did it to anybody. Together you can apologize in person or take some other measures.

Teach them to react properly: not to take harmful comments into consideration, always remember they are loved and perfect the way they are.

A child needs to grow up in conditions where they can lean on parents and not to feel ashamed because of asking to “roast” or roasting themselves. In a nutshell, it’s all about the dialogue.

How can parental controls help parents?

mSpy was designed to help parents with such issues. The developers realize that parents have to handle not just tech-savvy kids’ desires but also consequences coming out with them.

“#Roastme” game requires parents’ awareness of what their kids are doing online on social media, platforms, sites, etc. It’s about following your kid’s online life and always monitoring to prevent such things.

So how can mSpy parental control app help?

The most powerful feature for this case is Keyword alerts. It tracks word strokes in recorded data logs and informs you immediately. So tracking “#Roastme” can be easy for the app. When parental control software mSpy identifies a keyword, it sends an alert to your email. You need to know that keyword alerts are not specified when mSpy is set up for the first time. Parents need to determine words and phrases for mSpy to fish for in newly recorded logs.  So you have all the chances to know in advance that your kid is about to get into troubles.

As a parent, you should monitor your kid’s posted and monitored media files. Even a half-naked photo can be considered as a porn explicit material and ruin the child’s reputation. What’s put on the Internet, is left there forever. Moreover, this kind of multimedia files can cramp employment, relationships, etc.

Also, you can identify if a kid was hit by #Roastme comments. mSpy provides useful tools for monitoring. So a sudden behavior switch, sadness, depression, irritation can be identified in text messages, messengers’ chatting, and calls. Monitoring them might be insightful and helpful in terms of preventing #Roastme consequences.

mSpy takes care of your kid’s safety.

mSpy – Know. Prevent. Protect

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