How to Deal With Cyberbullying

What Is CyberBullying?

Harassment: Sending messages online of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Photographs: Using photos to humiliate someone.

Impersonation: Pretending to be someone else online to mock or hurt someone.

Websites/Blogs/Hacking: Using these sites to spread rumors and personal info, hack, or spread viruses.

When you post online, you open yourself up to scrutiny from a vast audience. The wonderful thing about the internet is that you have a wealth of information right at your fingertips. However, according to a 2017 NSPCC report there were over 24,000 Childline counselling sessions with children about bullying that year. In fact, 43 per cent of students are bullied online. It could be a quick negative comment on your post, or an in-depth continuous spam. One thing is certain, it’s hard to admit you’re being bullied but even harder to share your story. We break down the appropriate steps to take if you or someone you know is being bullied.

Learn about trolls

An online bully can sometimes fall into the internet category known as a troll. One of the first things social media students learn about when discussing posting online content in the classroom is to not feed trolls. This is one of the most effective ways to deal with a troll or online bully. Instead of engaging in it; ignore it. Interaction with the troll with a comment back, is acknowledging its power, which is exactly what they want. You validate their comment by replying to it. An online bully may attack you for more personal reasons, or simply for being jealous. A troll gets a kick out of making people angry and upset, which is why the most effective measure to deal with them is ignoring their comments. Depending on the nature of the comment it can be better to delete it.

Talk to someone you trust

Online bullies can also be afraid of numbers. Sometimes it can be helpful to have friends on social media join the conversation between you and the bully if it is on a public platform. It is also very important that you talk to friends and family you can trust. Often, your friends can come to your aid online; even your online friends that you may not know in person. Online bullies enjoy bulling online because they are faceless. They may want attention from you, however they do not want attention from their own real-life community. If you know the person in real life, or if you can do enough social media digging to find out, when sharing your story you can say who it is. Never accuse someone though unless you are 100 per cent sure.

Report the account

Thanks to new guidelines and actions, you can report their account. If it is a negative space, don’t be afraid to hit that report button. You never know how many victims these bullies have, you might be helping someone else out too. After reporting them, block your online bully. It is worth the loss of one person accessing your content. Some social media platforms also have options to increase your security without completely taking your account out of the public eye. You can explore these options and decide which is best for you.

Fill the #CyberCrave

Aija Mayrock, author of The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen says: “If taking a break from social media, you might feel a bit empty — like you’re missing something. That’s pretty normal, but there are ways to not feel that way. Fill your day with activities that make you happy — big and small. It could be as simple as a cup of tea and your favourite book or meeting up with friends. Make yourself happy. You deserve that and more.”

Always remember, it is easy for a hurtful person to attack people through online bullying because they remain faceless. You do not have to hide behind anonymity. You are already braver and stronger then your online bully for putting your work out in the public domain. Be proud of your art and continue to post whatever makes you happy. Spread positivity online, not hate.

Related Topics:

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Why self-worth is important and how to improve yours

How to combat loneliness when you’re young


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