Have you ever been bullied online? Have you ever wondered what you could do to protect yourself from cyber bullying? If so, you are not alone. There are many kids your age who are going through a very similar experience. If you’re a teen who feels victimized from cyber bullying, we have some quick advice for you, follow these 10 steps:
DON’T Respond to the Bully:
If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. Who wants to empower a bully?
DO Block and/or Report the Bully:
If any form of harassment appears online (whether it be in a text message, a comment made on social media or something said in an online chatroom, do yourself a favor: use your preferences and/or privacy tools to block the person. You can also report to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you or anyone else.
Getting back at the bully turns you into a bully yourself. Not only that, but it reinforces bullying behavior. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression by sinking to the bully’s level.
DO Stay Civil:
Even if you get hurt by someone who has done or said something or hateful to you, it’s always best to maintain your moral values. Also, research shows that gossiping about and trash talking others increases your risk of being bullied. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
DON’T Think it Will Go Away:
No cyber bullying situation has ever stopped on its own. One of the biggest mistakes which is commonly made is to ignore the problem. As a result, the problem tends to get worse and the bully tends to do more to get your attention.
DO Save the evidence:
Being harassed online is never a good thing. However, one key difference between traditional bullying and cyber bullying is that most messages can easily be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. Take a screen shot of the incident on your phone. It is important to do this, even if it’s something minor, in case things escalate.
DON’T Bully Someone Else:
It happens more often than you think, but being exposed to bullying puts you at risk to make fun of others. You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes; even a few seconds of thinking about how another person might feel can put a big damper on aggression. That’s needed in this world.
DO Be an Ally:
Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop what they’re doing. It’s time to let bullies know their behavior is unacceptable – cruel abuse of fellow human beings. If you can’t stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behavior.
In other words, cyber bullying and isolation can be stopped when people conquer it with support and positivity.
DON’T Be Ashamed
First of all, it is certainly not your fault if you get bullied. You may think your friends and family may not take the problem seriously, and you may feel the need to withdraw from the people closest to you. It is important to know that you are never alone and that you deserve to have people in your life who listen to you.
DO Talk to a Responsible Adult:
You deserve backup. It’s always good to involve a parent but – if you can’t – a school counsellor usually knows how to help; sometimes both are needed. If you’re really nervous about saying something, see if there’s a way to report the incident anonymously at school.
Remember that sharing your cyberbullying story with someone is a brave thing to do, and should be considered a strength, not a weakness.