Advice Corner

What Is Cyberbullying And Steps On How To Deal With It

cyber-bullying

Sometimes we hear words and have an idea of what they mean but never really understand the effect of the words when they are acted out.

“Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is NEVER called cyberbullying.

The methods used are limited only by the child’s imagination and access to technology. And the cyberbully one moment may become the victim the next. The kids often change roles, going from victim to bully and back again.

Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyberbullying incident.

Cyberbullying also includes people leaking nudes of someone on the web for everyone to see. This often happens when a girl breaks up with a guy and because he is angry or hurt then leaks her nude on her timeline for all to see. I honestly don’t know what kind of pleasure people get from doing this.

Here are a few steps on how to deal with cyberbullying:

10. Save every message.

Cyber bullying is somewhat easier for a bully to perform, since they don’t have to do anything when the victim is right there in front of them. But you’re smarter than that right. You may just want to click “delete” on every hateful message you get from them or that mention on twitter that you just are not interested in. However, this is not the right way to go. Because there may come a time, when this bully needs to be reported- and you’ll need all the evidence right there in front of you. Save and print each and every mean thing they send to you. Bookmark or “favorite” the webpages they diss you on, we even have screenshot and screenmuncher, munch it all. The day will come, when you’ll need this untenable evidence.

9. Never participate.

If you receive a “bully” message, never get more involved than you need to. Replying to that hurtful comment will only make the problem worse- what you say on the internet, STAYS there, no matter what you do; and anger, sadness, or any other emotion that can cause you to do this you’ll regret. Keep yourself cool. It’s okay to be upset, but responding to the bully just as they have responded to you, will fix nothing other than adding more fuel to the fire. They enjoy it when you entertain their silly behaviour.

8. Identify the person doing it.

Emails, screen names and images of themselves can be deceiving, and temporarily disguise a bully. However, there are ways of figuring out the guilty party. First, write down the email or screen name you’ve received this from. Check your inbox- have you ever received ANYTHING from this person before? This may clue you in. If not, simply go to the email provider (after the @ part of the email) website, and search the screen name you have. If the profile is not blocked, you should be able to view this person’s name. When all else fails, get others involved. Let your parents or teachers know about the situation. Most likely, they can track the IP address, and get the exact location of the attacker.

7. Approach them in person.

A cyber bully is nothing when not behind their internet mask. Talking to them about it upfront, might even scare them away. If this person seems not to be intimidated, or issues more violent or humiliating threats, contact an adult to intervene.

6. If the case is severe, press charges.

After letting a parent into the situation, allow them to contact the bully’s parents (if the school has not already done this). If you’ve suffered severely from this, or experienced humiliation or violent threats/acts, this girl/boy can be suspended, expelled, or even arrested depending on how severe they have acted towards you.

5. Don’t blame yourself.

It is not your fault. No matter what a cyberbully says or does, you should not be ashamed of who you are or what you feel. The cyberbully is the person with the problem, not you.

4. Try to view cyberbullying from a different perspective.

The cyberbully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Never show how you feel about the way they are treating you. Always try understand that the problem goes deeper on their side, it’s more about them being hurt than it is about hurting you.

3. Don’t beat yourself up.

Don’t make a cyberbullying incident worse by dwelling on it or reading the message over and over again and doubting if those things being said to you are true or not. Instead, delete any cyberbullying messages once you’ve dealt with it accordingly and focus on positive experiences. There are many wonderful things about you so be proud of who you are.

2. Get help.

Talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, or other trusted adult. Seeing a counselor does not mean there is something wrong with you. It just simply means you need someone to lead their ear and time to you.

1. Learn to deal with stress.

Finding ways to relieve stress can make you more resilient so you won’t feel overwhelmed by cyberbullying. Exercise, meditation, positive self-talk, muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises are all good ways to manage the stress from cyberbullying.

 

Always try spend time doing things you love to get your mind off the bullying. The more time you spend with activities that bring you pleasure—sports, hobbies, hanging out with friends who don’t participate in cyberbullying, for example—the less significance cyberbullying will have on your life.

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