Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, explains cases of sexual assault are when the act happens to somebody. Sexual abuse could be a behavior that takes place. Normally sexual harassment is done by someone who is in a position of power, she describes. The expert affirms internet is one of the biggest concern, because it is very accessible. It’s easy for people, to sexually abuse children or harass public, because they can reach so many people and they can find somebody vulnerable on the Internet. Internet is really used widely and daily as one of the strongest means of abusing children and teenagers, she says.
There are some types of Cyber Harassment: bullying, stalking and trolling, explains Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House. She describes trolling is when somebody wants to incite and create anger within a certain community. The expert affirms most of the time, they’re proud of being trollers and of doing this. The expert affirms kids can use trolling as well as an adult. They feel like they have a lot of power control in their life and they can feel powerful.
Low self-esteem, loneliness, distrust in others, personality changes, withdrawal, self-harm, suicide and homicide can be effects of cyber harassment. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, considers it’s important for specialists to think about different scenarios, what kids are going through and different times in their life. She is concerned about suicide rates in teenagers, because they are much higher nowadays than before. When kids or teenagers see their private information out there, they may feel their life is over.
One of the most important concerns of social media is how much teens are getting a lot of their self-worth from apps, because they are paying attention to how many followers, responses, friends or likes they have and compare them with others. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, affirms those apps impact on them about how they feel and how they respond socially. At this point, she thinks it’s starting to get pretty dangerous, because self-esteem is involved. The expert also says adults can be affected by Internet in some way, because adults engage in a lot of the same behaviors.
There are potential risks of social media: cyberbullying and harassment, usually by peers, sharing sexually explicit photographs, inaccurate or harmful health and sexuality information, exposure to inappropriate and illegal content, sharing too much information and sexual solicitations. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, affirms there is an over share of information about personal problems or family issues. She considers these are very dangerous for teenagers. She advises parents that if they decide to give their children a smartphone, they should limit the apps they can use.