Tina sits on the bench and looks at the cool kids playing football. Earlier, they played with her pencils – her 12 new pencils, given to her by her favourite aunt. By the time they were done, three were broken, one was missing and four were in the wastepaper basket. She just had four left – the gray one, the yellow one, the brown one and the light green one. All the colours she doesn’t really like. They think she’s weird because she’s 14 and uses coloured pencils.
She told Mom about them, she told her how the cool kids were bullying her. That morning, Mom told her that it’s Stop Bullying Day. ‘They won’t bully you today.’ But they did. If only Tina had a magic wand that could put those bullies in their rightful place. She narrates all of this to Mom. Although Mom doesn’t have a wand, she has the muggle world’s equivalent of one – a smartphone. And using her smartphone, she tells her beautiful daughter about 9 magical apps that are sure to help her stand up to those bullies.
Anonymous Alerts: This app could really be a boon to Tina since she wants to report her bullies but doesn’t want to reveal her identity. Created by a man who was once bullied too, ‘Anonymous Alerts’ will not only let her message administrators when she’s being picked on, but will also let her attach images, videos and screenshots to the report. Gregory Bender is a true hero for having created this tool after the Sandy Hook shootings!
NearParent: Mom knows that Tina probably misses her a lot at school. That’s why she introduces ‘NearParent.’ This app will let her add a list of trusted people who can be reached if things get out of hand. So, when Tina’s in trouble, she can tap one of two buttons: the ‘Small Alert’ button or the ‘Big Alert’ button, based on how bad her situation is. This will alert those trusted folks in no time at all. Also, she can hit the ‘Check-in’ button to let them know where she is. So cool!
Stop!t: Somewhat like Anonymous Alerts, ‘Stop!t’ will also let Tina report bullies. However, this app will get her in touch with more than just administrators. With it, she can report these kids to her mom, teacher, coach, or even an uncle or her favourite aunt. But, the best part about Stop!t is that it has a HELP button that will allow her to call or message a 24/7 crisis support network, since she’s in the US. Mom: What do we say to bullying? Tina: Stop!t!
KnowBullying: Although Mom has never been on the receiving or giving end of bullying, it’s not like she doesn’t know what it involves. This is exactly what she tells Tina as she introduces ‘KnowBullying.’ This app has taught Mom everything from knowing how to gauge if her daughter’s being picked on, to anti-bullying strategies. In fact, it even lets her set reminders to check in with Tina regularly. This is one smart tool to get kids to talk about bullying!
CyberBully Hotline: Tina knows that when something happens at home, she can just call Mom and she feels safe as soon as she’s there. But
what about bullying? For that, Mom tells her about ‘CyberBully Hotline.’ This app provides schools with their own unique local phone number, so Tina or even her Mom can send a 100% anonymous text or voice message to school authorities if things go south. It also lets them keep their identity a secret. Now that’s a true hotline!
Bully Button: ‘That’s right Tina. When it comes to bullying, sometimes all you need is a button.’ And Mom’s right. With the ‘Bully Button,’ Tina can just record a video of incidents she has seen or been through, and send these to a trusted and responsible grown-up. She just needs to hit the ‘Record & Send’ button and those grown-ups will know she’s in trouble. Apart from that, it will even let her make calls and will send messages to a person until they’re opened. That’s one smart button!
ReThink: Mom introduces this app to Tina mainly because of the person behind it. ‘ReThink’ was developed by another teen, 15-year-old Trisha Prabhu. The teen tech genius described her app saying:
ReThink is able to detect when someone tries to post something offensive on social media, and then alert that person… ”
It literally helps teens rethink whatever they’re about to post. In other words, thanks to this youngster, numerous kids like Tina can now help prevent cyberbullying. Mom has successfully equipped her daughter to tackle cyberbullying too!
BullyTag: A lot like Bully Button, Anonymous Alerts and Stop!t, the ‘BullyTag’ too, will let our 14-year-old anonymously inform people about incidents of bullying. But if it’s so much like these other apps, why does Mom introduce it to Tina? Well, apart from letting her send images, videos, audio recordings and texts to school officials and administrators, this brilliant app will also erase the messages from her phone. This will make it seem like she never had those conversations at all. The teen can even reach a counsellor via this app. Of course Mom thought it’s worth a mention!
BullyProofAssistant: Finally, Mom is not just equipping Tina to deal with bullying at school, but is also preparing her to tackle it at work. ‘BullyProofAssistant’ is an app that will help her daughter in both areas. With the app, Tina will be able to get in touch with Brains United Against Cyber Abuse & Bullying, while also letting her reach out to America’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and others. It will even tell her what not to do if she’s being bullied. Clever app!