Cyberbullying. Just say No…

Cyberbullying is a modern curse. There’s only one thing more cowardly than a bully, and that’s one who hides behind a keyboard. Here are some tips on how to deal with cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can cause untold upset and pain to the recipient, but on the plus side (every cloud and all that), it is easier to deal with – all it takes is a bit of determination and know-how.

Block.

You can get a great deal of satisfaction from cutting a bully off at their source, and on social media that comes in the shape of the ‘block’ function. As soon as things turn nasty, just block them. It renders them completely helpless as they just can’t reach you and leaves you free to enjoy being online.

Don’t retaliate.

Here’s the thing – bullies are brilliant at playing the victim. They could have sent you 100 vile messages, but the moment you send one back they will go running to whoever and say you’re being mean. It’s sickening but unfortunately, they are very good actors and you are the one who will get into trouble.

Rise above it.

Another tactic, if you really can’t just let it go, is to respond in a calm, polite manner. Even bring humor into it. This works on more than one level – you are proving yourself to be more mature and showing them that you’re not bothered (even if you are), and by bringing humor into it you will totally disarm them.

File it away.

Never delete any kind of hate messages you receive through social media or cell. It could be a one-off message, but there is a chance that it will escalate, and by saving everything you will have a ready-made portfolio of evidence if you need to report it.

Report it.

Each social media site has its own facility to report harassment. Just google ‘how to report inappropriate comments on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram’ and you will find step by step instructions.

Take it higher.

Of course, not all cyberbullying will stop at just name calling and nasty comments. Some sick individuals will take things further and make threats. If, at any time you feel scared, or threatened, or even unsure as to whether it’s serious or not, tell someone – your parents, teacher, friends, and the police. Online bullying is a real crime, and you will be taken seriously.

It sucks. But technology has given rise to a whole host of cowardly keyboard warriors, and the only way to deal with them is (for the most part) to treat them like they’re not even there, and in the extreme get outside help. All bullies rely on your silence, don’t give them what they want.

If you’ve been affected by cyberbullying, drop us a line and let us know how you dealt with it, we’d love to hear your stories.

Further reading:

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-to-handle-social-media-harassment

http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

https://www.ditchthelabel.org/cyber-bullying-top-9-tips-on-overcoming-it/