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Flurking?  Yes, believe it or not this is actually a word, growing in popularity among pre-teens and teens, to describe the act of lurking or creeping on social media sites like Facebook.  Basically, it is a form of cyber stalking, where the goal is to get in someone’s business digitally.


It may seem a little out there and even like much ado about nothing.  After all, how troubling could it possibly be for kids to be keeping track of each other on social media?  There are certainly worse behaviors they could be engaging in, right?  It’s just today’s version of “kids will be kids” only with computers and smart phones thrown in the mix.


The reality is that this can actually be quite harmful for both the targets and those engaging in flurking.  It’s not nearly as innocent as it seems, particularly when you consider how much time the average kid spends online every day.  It’s almost impossible for unsuspecting kids to avoid run-ins with flurkers and sometimes those interactions can have unexpected results.


Even if the goal of the flurking isn’t intended to be bullying, it can come across that way.  Even innocent interest in someone else’s behavior can easily be turned into something much more negative and when the target of that behavior can’t get away from it, it can be downright uncomfortable and even frightening.


But even if it doesn’t get to that level, flurking is still an issue because by its very definition it entails spending an inordinate amount of time online.  Especially in the case of older children and pre-teens, this is troubling because they should have better, healthier ways of spending their time rather than being glued to a laptop or phone screen for hours on end.  It can also be damaging emotionally at a time in life when kids have enough emotional baggage to deal with.


Whether they’ve been engaging in flurking or the target of it, it’s amazing what unplugging from social media for as little as a week can do for a child’s sense of self-esteem.  Forcing them to interact on a face-to-face basis can help them to develop social skills, engage their brain in different ways and learn to build relationships with their peers and with adults.


If you’re a parent of a pre-teen, don’t shrug off all that time they’re spending online.  Be aware of flurking and its possible consequences and try to guide your child in other, more productive, directions.  It’ll do you both a lot of good in the long run.

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Flurking Facebook

Flurking?  Yes, believe it or not this is actually a word, growing in popularity among pre-teens and teens, to describe the act of lurking or creeping on social media sites like Facebook.  Basically, it is a form of cyber stalking, where the goal is to get in someone’s business digitally.

ARTICLES | BY K.K.BROWN

JANUARY 8, 2017

Stalker Protection | How It Works

ABOVE VIDEO: Published on Jan 4, 2016

Talented and promising teenagers from around the world have committed suicide. On the surface, they seemed to have everything going for them but their sudden deaths raised the alarm for psychologists and lawmakers over cyberbullying. It’s a form of psychological abuse that causes symptoms similar to PTSD and it’s almost impossible to avoid in our modern, connected world.

When it comes to cyberbullying, safety at home is an illusion, so-called “internet trolls” operate through social networks and e-mail, even mobile phones, means of communication in which most first world teenagers are experts these days. The danger can come from anywhere, an extension of school bullying or from a bored stranger. Whatever the source, the anonymity of the internet gives offenders a sense of impunity, so no level of psychological harassment is considered off limits.

. . . more

RT DOCUMENTARY
Internet Trolls and Their Victims

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