How Can I Stop Bullying on Social Networks?

Published on May 21, 2012

Most parents want to ensure that children will be safe online from Bullies and other Internet Dangers. In order to address the question, How can I stop bullying?, we must look first at some real facts about cyber bullying and the realities surrounding the social network it happens on most – Facebook.
 

What is Cyberbullying? 

Cyber Bullying is when a person is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or targeted by another using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.

Last year alone, Consumer Reports shows that more than one million children were harassed, threatened or subject to other forms of abuse on Facebook in 2011. This is nearly 60% of kids or 1 out of every 3 children who use the social network!

The statistics are alarming, yet only 7% of U.S. parents are worried about Internet dangers such as cyberbullying (according to the Pew Internet and American Life Survey, 2011).

It’s obvious the problem is real. So let’s get to the nitty gritty details of how to be safe online and answer the question at hand with regard to social networks.
 

How Can I stop Bullying?

CS Bullying Quote How Can I Stop Bullying on Social Networks?

  1. Keep a record of the activity. Be sure to record the time and date of each incident as you will need to provide this to law enforcement in order to catch the creeps.
     
  2. Tell Someone.  One of the biggest reasons bullies get away with it is that kids don’t tell anyone. Encourage kids to talk to someone they trust, whether it be a parent, friend, sibling, school counselor or teacher.
     
  3. Contact your phone or Internet Service Provider.  If you report what is happening, they can help you combat Internet dangers such as Cyberbullying by blocking messages or calls from certain senders.
     
  4. Don't Respond to Cyberbullies.  All Bullies share one thing in common. Something hurts them so much on the inside they have to hurt someone else in order to feel good.  If you don’t respond to their antics, they won’t get what they want. So don’t give them a reaction by responding and they won't get what they want. 
     
  5. Threats or Serious Harrassment. If messages indicate serious threats then do not hesitate to contact the police right away. Remember, If Cyberbullying is threatening, it is illegal.
     
  6. Change your Contact Information. Get a new user name for Facebook, change your e-mail account, or change your mobile phone number.
     
  7. Online Privacy is Golden.  This cannot be stressed enough. Keep your username and passwords Private. Make sure personal information is kept private so it doesn't fall into the hands of someone who'll misuse it. 

Lastly, in order to truly be safe online and prevent internet dangers such as cyberbullying, it is important that you understand the laws. For a comprehensive list of bullying laws by state, Go Here.

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CreepSquash is dedicated to online family safety through awareness and education outreach efforts. We offer a safe and effective parental monitoring solution designed to protect children and teens on Facebook. Learn more about CreepSquash or sign up for a Free 30 Day Trial with no obligation.

 

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Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Published on April 27, 2012

 

Social media has changed the way the world works in many ways. For some, the change has been positive, for others detrimental. One thing that parents must consider is the kids internet safety and how they are participating in social networks. 

It is also important to look to the future of social networks and the online space as a good thing. But too often it causes worry and fear for parents, and rightfully so.  Kids Internet Safety is at risk, and parents are the only ones who hold the reigns.  This is why it is crucial to establish some degree of parental control on social networks.  Parents have a duty to keep children safe, and should feel good about the activities their children participate in. 

Kids Internet Safety Should Parents Discourage Children from Social Networks? What it Means for Kids Internet Safety

Here are a few reasons to feel good about your kids using social media:

Education and Awareness.  These are key ingredients in preparing children for the future.  In order to understand how the world works, it is important for children of today to learn as much as possible about technology and be directly involved in social communities that are literally changing the way the world works.  Kids who have access to social media stand a better chance to be more innovative and technologically savvy, and up on trends that will give them power in the marketplace over their uneducated peers. Think about how many parents are lacking the tools and information to take advantage of positive opportunities that exist through social networks.  Less skills mean less value and parents need to understand that getting up to speed with technology is crucial to our kids’ future.

Healthy Advantages – If parents are able to steer children in the direction of age-appropriate  youth-centered networks and groups, there are some benefits that can work toward a healthy advantage. These include:

Importance of Digital literacy.  When children use social networks, this enables them to learn how to upload images and videos to a web site, to conduct research, gain new perspectives outside a small community and learn how to interact among different mediums – through writing, video, etc.  Becoming digitally literate also offers a learning curve for children in how to identify and handle cyber bullying, and how not to be a bully.

Necessary Social skills. Developing healthy social skills is crucial to a child’s upbringing.  Online interactions are not the same or even close to face-to-face, but learning to communicate across different mediums is important for understanding the different ways to be social, and how these translate across the online space as well as in person.  In order for children to develop into effective adults, it is imperative that they develop age-appropriate skills and social networks can work well to serve this purpose.

Acceptance and Validation.  Encourage a child with recognition and they gain confidence in their ability to contribute to a community.  Social media participation provides this opportunity and offers children a chance to interact with other kids who share similar interests. For a child who feels alone or doesn’t quite fit in with the locals, this online space can be a positive environment where they find common ground.

But What about the increased concern over Privacy and Online Dangers, does the good outweigh the bad of allowing your children to join social networks?

With such a fast paced world of techonology, the social media landscape is everchanging. Privacy issues are being addressed by a host of companies who focus on security solutions and parental monitoring services that aim at kids internet safety.  Very few social networks address some of the biggest concerns at any depth, such as online predators and sex offenders having access to children. The issue of bullying is also very real and now has taken the world by storm with “cyber bullying” via social networks.

The best way parents can ensure kids internet safety while allowing them to participate in social networks is to identify age-appropriate communities for them.  If your child is under 13, do not allow them to be on Facebook and talk to them about the risks. Since it is the most desired place for kids to be online, parents now have a way to feel comfortable with the privacy and exposure to kids.

The CreepSquash monitoring solution allows parents to monitor children’s accounts from a safe distance, and works anywhere a child accesses the social network.  No dashboards or computers to store information on, this innovative technology is a simple Facebook app that focuses 100% on kids internet safety.  Offering a free 30-Day Trial  with no obligation, it’s a no brainer for parents who want to loosen the leash and feel good about it.

Cyber Bullying Stories: How Real is the Threat?

Published on March 5, 2012

Cyber bullying is a serious threat, and a relatively new one on the horizon.  Parents have a duty to protect their children from danger, but the problem of bullying expands beyond ordinary reach. The advent of Facebook and other social media platforms has dawned a new era of cyber bullying stories that virtually never existed before.

If you’re like most parents, you want the best for your kids, and that includes good social interaction.  Bullies disrupt this process.  Worse, and far more frightening, we are seeing it lead to effects in children like shunning, psychological problems, even suicide. 

Cyber bullying statistics abound, but here are a few to think about:

●     25% of children will become victims of Cyber Bullying

●     56% of children experience Cyber Bullying in online communities like Facebook

●     Children who experience Cyber Bullying also score lower on tests in school

It's almost unbelievable!  Well, it’s even tougher to experience for children and as a parent of a bullied child.  So what causes bullying and cyber bullying to happen? 

The simple fact is that children, by nature, don’t understand the long-term consequences of their actions.  This is particularly true when it comes to cyber bullying.  Three factors to consider:

iStock 000015135204Small Cyber Bullying Stories: How Real is the Threat?

1. Cyber Bullying comes from anonymity. 
If I don’t have to directly face the person I’m addressing, it follows naturally that I’ll state my opinions stronger; be more sarcastic.  Add to that the normal lack of restraint in children, and you have a recipe for a lot of painful feelings and hurt emotions.

2. Many parents don’t recognize Cyber Bullying until it’s too late.  Studies show that children being bullied tend to withdraw.  They don’t always know how to express what they’re facing, and as a result they internalize it.  This is dangerous because the warning signs are significantly reduced.  You have to make sure you know what to look for.

3. Cyber Bullying involves behavior once considered “normal”.  Name-calling, harsh hazing or teasing; these are behaviors children grow up with, which makes it easy to overlook and discount the effect they have on our youth.  An online presence makes this a completely different game than ever before. Things that are said or done online, like posting photos, stick around for months or years. 

In effect, what we’re dealing with here is the lives of our children. Something for any smart parent to take seriously.

CreepSquash is dedicated to ensuring kids internet safety through education, awareness and offers a parental monitoring solution designed to protect children and teens online. Learn about our affiliate program to earn money while making a difference to children everywhere, or sign up for a Free 30 Day Trial.

 

Kids Internet Safety 101: Tips and Warnings

Published on February 15, 2012

Rumors are floating around town these days about online privacy and Facebook.  It sure doesn’t sit well with many people that personal information is shared among 845 million users and the rest of the world. How does that promote kids internet safety?

The issue of privacy and child safety on the internet are very real.  The following tips and warnings won’t make the internet a safe place for kids, but it’s a good idea to share these with your children.  Take a piece for yourself too.

Safety Tips

  • Remove any post that might be inappropriate. This could mean wall posts, images, or status updates. What you may have found funny Children on Facebook Kids Internet Safety 101: Tips and Warningslast night might not be as funny the next day.
  • If anyone is pestering you on Facebook Chat, it’s simple to make like a tree and leave the conversation. This can be done by clicking on the bottom right corner of the page and selecting the "Go Offline" button.
  • If someone is continuously harassing you, sending you rude messages that are mean, nasty, inappropriate, and make you uneasy, you can delete them from your friend’s list.  You may also go a step further and block them entirely – and it will be as if they don’t exist.
  • Never add a friend request or suggestion from anyone that you do not know, or by a known bully or rival. Remember some people can falsify an entire profile with information and phony pictures just to mess with you.
  • Don't display your full birth date, specifically the year.  This can help deter fraudulent activity and prevent identity theft.
  • If you see any inappropriate images or comments, then e-mail Facebook and report it at abuse@Facebook.com.  Since Facebook is self-regulated, this means users ultimately control the content.
  • If your child is on Facebook under the age of 13, it’s imperative to secure a top parental monitoring software so that you can keep an eye out and make sure your child has all the safety equipment they need.

Warnings

  • If a stranger talks to you, It’s best to not respond and immediately block them. Also, tell a parent or trusted adult if you are younger than 18, and ask them what to do.
  • Always report suspicious friend requests or phony friends to Facebook.  The site is self-regulated, so remember to keep your eyes and ears open to help combat inappropriate activity.
     

If you want to be sure your children are safe online, CreepSquash offers value in terms of safety and affordability where no one else does.  Protect your family now with a CreepSquash Free Trial.  

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What are kids saying online? A guide to Facebook chat monitoring the easy way

Published on February 10, 2012

Instant messages are popping up everywhere.  If you are one of the few who hasn’t noticed, consider using or monitoring Facebook chat for a day. The world is looming with a new language of symbols and abbreviations that are used universally by more people virtually everywhere. 

Ok, so what do they mean and why should I care?  

Download the Official Guide to IM Chat and Abbreviations
 

booksmall What are kids saying online? A guide to Facebook chat monitoring the easy way

In order to answer this, one might ask how the world benefits from using English as a universal language. It enables people to connect to others across the planet, without borders, boundaries and barriers that once existed.  Where a language is understood, people will connect. 

Almost every child in America is talking the talk, and it’s time parents take a closer look at this new language and what it means for children and teens in today’s world.

The youth of today spends a great deal of time in online communities such as Facebook.  Technology has advanced so far and continues expanding rapidly that many parents cannot keep up. 

It is important for parents to understand how children communicate and be aware of conversations that may otherwise go unnoticed, to protect against online danger. This knowledge also enables parents to make a better connection with their children and ensure family safety. 

Forget English, acronyms and emoticons are the new language of today. Lol, right? Well it’s the truth.  Used by people all over the world to communicate across networks, these shortened versions of words and expressions have become a normal part of social communication in daily life.

This language is also being used by the younger generation to communicate to keep parents clueless or ‘KPC’.  With the ever growing popularity of Facebook and other social networks, understanding these terms and how to decipher the code is important for parents in order to prevent danger and ensure online safety.

Get familiar with the language and how to interpret it with this Free E-Guide for parents. Available for a limited time, its easy to read, alphabetical format, will help parents to better understand the language children and teens are using to communicate with peers online, through text and in everyday conversations.  

 

Best Online Safety Tips for Facebook

Published on January 17, 2012

It’s common knowledge that online safety is important for kids. But adults can be at equal risk for online danger. Every person with a profile on Facebook is in the public eye and open to scrutiny, fraud, identity theft, predators, bullying, bad reputation. It’s better safe than sorry! The following safety tips should provide insight so that you can learn how to better protect your family online.

  1. Change the Privacy Settings on your profile to "Only my friends". This will allow you to have control over who has access to your information and pictures. You can also choose specific friends that you do or do not want to allow access.
  2. Monitor the pictures that you are tagged in. You can see tagged pictures by going under your profile picture to “Photos”. You can "untag" yourself from pictures that you do not approve of. Just know that people will still be able to see them. Simply click "remove tag" next to the name in the list of people in the picture. If you think that the particular picture could put you in a compromising situation, consult whoever put it up and ask him or her to remove it from their profile so that others cannot access it even after you untag.Facebook Safety 11 Best Online Safety Tips for Facebook
  3. Avoid posting pictures of yourself under the influence. If you enjoy letting loose at parties, it’s best to keep the photos, or evidence offline.  Dancing on a bar or shots of the last time you got hammered on happy hour are open to the public if you post them on Facebook.  This could incriminate you as anything you post is in the public eye. Anything involving illicit substances or underage drinking can work against you. Think smart when you post, and do it when you’re sober.
  4. Stay cautious of the status messages, photos and videos you post. If you are friends with your co-workers, colleagues, or boss on Facebook, this could be a spell for disaster. If possible, avoid sending or accepting friend requests from those who know you from work, especially your superiors. Granting them full access to view your personal life is almost guaranteed to have negative effects on your job or reputation.
  5. Do Not Include a phone number, address, or names of children or pets in your profile. Identity thieves and other online criminals are smart enough to look for this information in potential victims.  It’s best to avoid attaching children’s and pet’s names in your profile as people often use these words for passwords in other accounts.  This information and any related personal information should be kept offline for safety.  Internet crime can happen to anyone.
  6. Choose a New Password and Change it Often. Pick a password that is not obvious such as your birthday or mother’s maiden name. Try to use at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter, two numbers, and a symbol. The longer and more complicated the password, the safer you are from getting your account hacked. Make sure the password you use for social sites is not the same password attached to your e-mail account. Always remember to log out after you've finished using Facebook, especially on a shared computer or in a public space.
  7. Be Careful Who You Friend. This is where Quality over Quantity comes in. Unless you actually know someone, be wary of ‘friending’ someone you don’t know very well.  You can add mutual friends that you don't know if you want to, though it is not recommended unless you have a friend suggestion.  Make sure that any friend you add is authentic by looking through their pictures and check to see if they are tagged in any photos. Facebook offers the option to block anyone that seems to threaten or harass you.|
  8. Take advantage of the value in Facebook Monitoring Software. If you are a parent, going through your children's posts, messages, photos, videos, comments is an invasion of privacy. Establish trust and respect your children's individuality and take advantage of a good monitoring product that informs you on what you need to know in an easy to use platform. CreepSquash offers the web’s best value in a safe and effective monitoring application that focuses on Facebook, so that your family is protected from predators, cyber bullying and other online danger.
  9. When you see a link on Facebook, check the address bar and make sure it displays "www.facebook.com/" and nothing else like "www.facebook33.tk" or "www.facebook1.php", etc. which is a giveaway of a phisher. It can steal your e-mail and password, as well as post spam links to your friends' walls.
     

CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes kids internet safety.  Please visit our main page to learn more about our parental monitoring tool that helps ward off creeps!  We invite comments and  hope you will share this with a friend!

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Top 10 Movies that teach lessons about Bullies and Cyber Bullying

Published on December 27, 2011

If you or a loved one has ever experienced the torment of bullies, you will be able to learn and experience a great deal from the top 10 movie list on this page.  Cyber bullying is just as evil as old schoolyard bullies, and should not be taken lightly.  These movies will make you feel empowered and teach kids they are not alone. These are stories of courage, determination, revenge, what makes bullies tick, and the variety of ways to handle them.

1.  The Ant Bully (2006).  Fed up with being targeted by the neighborhood bully, 10-year-old Lucas Nickle (voiced by Zach Tyler) vents his frustrations on the anthill in his front yard … until the insects shrink him to the size of a bug with a magic elixir. Convicted of "crimes against the colony," Lucas can only regain his freedom by living with the ants and learning their ways. Nicholas Cage and Julia Roberts star in voice.

2.  Big Bully (1996). In the age of social networking, you can track down almost anyone from your past, including childhood bullies—and victims. This movie explores this scenario by confronting that very question and comes up with the conclusion that little bullies often times do grow up to be big bullies.

meangirls Top 10 Movies that teach lessons about Bullies and Cyber Bullying 3.  Mean Girls (2004). Don’t be fooled into thinking all bullies are boys.  This movie shows the truth behind how evil teenage girls can be. Lindsey Lohan stars as Cady Heron, the new girl at school. She infiltrates the female bullies of the popular “plastics” clique, and seeks revenge after one of them steals her main crush.

4.  Bully (2001). A common theme with bullies, where one friend takes great joy in bossing around and beating up his best friend. But when the girlfriend of the victim witnesses one too many of these incidents, she vows to kill Bobby, enlisting her friends — and a hit man — to help. From controversial director Larry Clark (Kids), this unsettling drama is based on a true crime. Parental advisory: Contains sexually explicit material.

5.  Heathers (1989). In this classic movie about bullying, three queen-bee Heathers bully a chubby girl by calling her “Dumptruck,” but they don’t get away with it. Enter Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, and Jason Dean, played by Christian Slater. Veronica and Jason inflict the ultimate punishment on these mean-girl bullies, murdering them one by one.

thekaratekid Top 10 Movies that teach lessons about Bullies and Cyber Bullying 6.  The Karate Kid (1984). The kind of movie you can watch over and over again, nothing beats “The Karate Kid”—literally. You will cheer for the empowered kid Ralph Maccio as Daniel LaRusso, a Jersey kid who moves to California and finds himself bullied by a karate gang known as the Cobras. When elderly gardener Miyagi intervenes to teach Daniel karate, he learns what karate really means—and defeats the bullies.

7.  Chicken Little (2005). Everyone loved cartoons as a kid, so let this animated movie about bullying tap into your inner child. You may just recognize yourself when poor Chicken Little endures ridicule for his false alarm that the “sky is falling.”

8.  Weird Science (1985). Poor Gary and Wyatt endure bullying from everybody, including Wyatt’s older brother Chet. If only they had a hot girlfriend, their fortunes could change. The two geeks hack into an Air Force computer to create the woman of their dreams, and thanks to an electrical storm, they succeed. The supernatural Lisa helps these two losers find their courage and win the day.

9.  Joe Somebody (2001). If you think it sucked to be bullied as a kid, imagine being bullied in front of your kids. That is exactly what Joe Scheffer suffers in this movie about adult bullying, when his daughter witnesses his utter humiliation at the hands of a  bully. He must learn martial arts and does so to redeem himself.

10.  Three O’Clock High (1987). For all those class nerds out there who ever had to man up and face a bully, “Three O’Clock High” is the movie about bullying for you. Poor geek Jerry will do anything to avoid the big three o’clock fight with the insane, not-so-aptly named “Buddy.”

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!

How online monitoring can help parents so children don’t become victims

Published on December 19, 2011

The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is an all-too-present fact of modern life. Yet, millions of Americans do not believe this problem exists at all, and take no measures to ensure safety and how useful online monitoring can be. Why?

Most child victims do not tell. Leading scholars and researchers tell us that at least 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized in some way before they reach the age of 18, and just 1 in 3 will tell anybody about it. These numbers are ever increasing with the added issue of online safety as predators now have access to millions of children social networks.  These are America’s hidden victims, and the numbers are expanding rapidly, with the largest increase through social networks. We have made progress as a nation in attacking this problem but even today, two out of three child victims suffer in silence. They don’t tell parents or friends, they don’t tell anybody.

Millions doubt the existence of these heinous crimes for another reason. The offenders do not match society’s stereotype. Most Americans want to believe that someone who would prey upon a child sexually is evil-looking, a menacing, frightening stranger.

Yet, we have learned that most often those who victimize children are not strangers to the child.  They seek out legitimate access to the child by ‘friending’ them in inconspicuous places. Many abusers are those who work for youth-serving organizations, schools, after school care centers, or parade around the popular social networks as they provide easy, low-risk access to children.

Most often, predators who prey upon children do not snatch their victims randomly from the streets.  They groom their victims, win confidence and trust through friendship and kindness before they violate it. In so many cases, the child is made to feel responsible, like it is his or her fault. And the child is often intimidated or threatened by this person of trust and authority.

Even if they decide to tell, will anyone listen to them? Will anyone understand? These children feel that no one will believe them even if they do speak out, and too many adults simply do not listen to or understand what children try to tell us.

The offenders are not dirty, menacing strangers, they are respectable citizens – doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, police officers. Often they are people who outwardly show deep and enduring commitment to helping children in need.

What can you do? What can every citizen do? First, communicate with your children and empower them. Make sure that they understand that you love them, trust them, believe them and that if anyone ever touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should tell you or a trusted adult.

Prevention is another key to ensuring your child’s safety.  In order to protect children and teens from becoming the next victims, it is important to be aware of their surroundings and make an effort to monitor their online activity.  CreepSquash offers a non-invasive monitoring software tool that gives the most value to parents and keeps children safe.

If you see it, know about it or suspect it, report it.  Call your local police and then call 1 (800) THE LOST or report it to www.cybertipline.com, at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The sexual exploitation of children is not a problem that only happens somewhere else. It is happening in big cities and small towns across America. Thousands of children fall victim to sexual exploitation every year. We need to do more. Every child deserves a safe childhood.

This commentary was originally written by Ernie Allen, President and CEO of ICMEC and its sister agency, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).  It was shortened and edited from its original context and first appeared in Opinion Section on FoxNews.com on 12/09/2011.

How Parental Control Isn’t Enough to Stop Online Predators

Published on December 5, 2011

Surely parents can protect their children when they’re little, at battle with siblings, or when they fall down and get hurt, but what happens when they come to the age where adolescence sets in and they don’t want your protection and cringe at the thought of parental control.  They’re not babies anymore, and you’ll be the first to know!

Children seem to ‘find themselves’ at a much younger age in today’s world. This is when kids begin distancing themselves from parents and associating with different types of friends.  Sure it could be normal pre-teen behavior, and you have nothing to worry about.  But it could also mean your child has become the victim of cyber bullying, a bad reputation, or has made a new “friend” online they don’t want you to know about.

So what age should children be before parents loosen the leash?  Facebook says 13.  But that is hardly enforced.  Hundreds if not thousands of children under the age of 10 currently have Facebook accounts.  The scary part is that all the predators and convicted sex offenders know this!  And where do you think they are hanging out to find victims?  If you said online, you’re on to something.

Here are some alarming statistics every parent should know:

  • 54 percent of children chat through Instant Message with strangers
  • 30 percent of young teens talk about meeting a person they do not know
  • 9 out of 10 parents will never know that any inappropriate contact has occurred
  • 1 in 5 children ages 10-17 have been solicited for sex online
  • Inmates of sex crimes have access to the Internet and will Strike again once they get out

The sad reality is that too many parents know the dangers of the online world as it pertains to blocking adult sites or content.  But they never consider their child could be the next victim of a sexual predator.  The truth is these creeps are master manipulators and they know what they are doing.  The worst of the worst are also masters of the game and have never been caught!

Predators generally seek out children ages 10-17 as that is the most desirable and naive stage of life.  If you want to be sure your kids are safe in the real world, protecting them online is the first step.  What do you have to lose?  Try out CreepSquash Free.

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!

Toxic-Friends? MSNBC Says That 8 in 10 People Have One

Published on August 29, 2011

MSNBC discusses poisonous relationships or toxic friends and got an earful of responses from 18,000 women and 4,000 men.  Does parental control play a role in who we choose to be friends with?

They belittle and backbite and drive us batty with their soul-sucking behavior. Who are these hideous people? Our … um … friends, according to a joint survey conducted by TODAY.com and SELF magazine.

Readers were asked to come clean about these prickly — and at times, poisonous — relationships and got an earful from 18,000 women and 4,000 men.

In fact, 84 percent of women — and 75 percent of men — said they'd had a toxic friend at some point, with 1 in 3 survey takers fessing up to a toxic BFF.

Just how bad are our so-called friends? Sixty-five percent of you have been stuck with a self-absorbed sidekick (easily recognized by their fondness for the words "I, me, mine") while 59 percent have been buds with one of those draining emotional vampire types.

"I recommended a woman I knew for a job and she'd come in and you'd say hello and she'd sigh and grunt and tell you she had a headache or a back ache," says Lucia Patritto, a 53-year-old educator from Ironwood, Mich. "We're a positive bunch at work, but she was like this emotional wet blanket. She wasn't just a pill; she was a suppository. You could practically hear the Debbie Downer music."

Overly critical chums were next on the toxic friend hit list, with 55 percent of people having to suffer through their self-righteous stinkeyes or critical tirades.

Friends who undermined with insults or backhanded compliments came in at No. 4, with 45 percent admitting they were buds with a backstabber.
"My friend — who I've known since high school — would always make these snide remarks about my weight or my house or even my daughter," says Kerri LaFond, a 39-year-old executive assistant from Chicago.
 
"It was always followed up by 'Oh, I'm just kidding. Come on.' I started wondering if I was blowing it out of proportion. But she would say things I would never say to my friends."

Finally, flakes ranked fifth on the toxic turnoff list, with 37 percent owning up to an unreliable chum.

View the original article

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CreepSquash strives to protect children and promotes online safety.  If you want to learn more about our parental  monitoring software tool that helps ward off creeps please visit our main page to learn more!  Please feel free to leave a comment or share this article with a friend!