Yesterday I wrote about a post sharing other bloggers experiences of cyber bullying. You can read it here.
Following on from this post, I wanted to share with you some help and advice on what you can do if you, or someone you know has experienced cyber bullying.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and Cyberharassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Cyberbullying is when someone, typically teens, bully or harass others on social media sites. (Source)
What to do if you experience cyber bullying
With the rise in popularity of social media, it comes as no surprise to hear that bullying has gravitated from the school playground, and onto social media.
Social media makes it even easier for bullies to target their victims. What’s worse is that they can do this anonymously and quite often get away with it.
Cyber bullying can have catastrophic effects on peoples lives and mental health, with many young people seeing suicide as the only way out.
If you or someone you know is experiencing cyber bullying it’s important that you’ll someone. Whether that’s a parent, friend, teacher, counsellor etc.
Telling someone can help you feel more confident to deal with the situation as you won’t be alone.
You should also report it to the social media channel that you’ve received it on.
It’s also important to keep a record of when and where the bullying is happening so that you can help to get it stop. Find out more about staying safe online.
If you see a video or written post targeting someone or where someone is being bullying, DO NOT SHARE IT. Instead you should report it.
It’s also important that if you use various social media channels that you keep your account private. Only accept friend requests from people you know and trust in real life.
Never share your home address, phone number, email address or any other personal information online.
The most important one is never to respond to the bullies. It just fuels them even more, and can make things worse.
There are lots of online message boards like this one from Childline where you can share your experiences and get advice.
Childline also have trained counsellors.
If you’re an adult there’s also help available online here. It’s important to stay calm and never to respond to bullies.
If you think someone you know is the victim of cyber bullying look out for these warning signs: (source)
- Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.
- A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.
- A child hides their screen or device when others are near, and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device.
- Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.
- A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.
- A child becomes withdrawn or depressed, or loses interest in people and activities.
More information and help can be found on the following resources: