The internet is an interesting place, to say the least. People say that what happens online, in forums or in chatrooms, doesn’t matter because in a lot of instances you’ve never met the other person. But I have to argue against that because over the years that I’ve been on the internet, I myself have had experiences that did matter to me and still do matter to me. Internet interactions change you just as much as interactions that happen in the “real” world. So, what am I getting at? So, what am I getting at? It’s really quite simple. There is such a thing as a cyberbully and cyberbullying—despite what some people may think—is a growing epidemic.
As I said in a previously post ‘Sticks & Stones Can Break Your Bones…’ words do hurt and even if they are coming from someone you don’t necessarily “know” it can still be painful to hear. A friend of mine recently came to me very upset because of some things that someone was saying about them online. They made fun of the way he was acting and sad some pretty nasty things. It’s not easy dealing with an online bully, but it is possible. So, what are some ways that you can deal with a person who is bullying you?
One of the most wonderful things invented on the internet has definitely been the ability to block/ignore people on instant messengers, on social networking sites and on forums. Hit the IGNORE/BLOCK button at any time and the bully just disappears. Some people think this is cowardly, but bullies often feed off of the pain of others and this is one way to stop them from at least feeding off of your pain.
This goes along with blocking and ignoring the bully. I know this is difficult, and I know because I’ve been there, but it is better that you don’t respond or engage the bully. They’re not going to want to cooperate with you anyway, so really it’s a waste of time and energy. It’s better to ignore them because all they want to do is cause harm.
If you’re a child, or even if you’re adult, get help from someone you trust. It could be a parent, a friend, a family member, someone at school, or someone else. Whoever it may be, get their attention and let them know what’s going on. Tell them how you’re feeling and get their support in the matter. Maybe they will have some ways for you to get through this.
Save the Evidence:
This is something that hooks into reporting the bully, which we’ll get to next. I know that someone’s first instinct is to get rid of the hurtful words and/or images, but this is actually something that you don’t want to do. Save as much evidence on what this person’s doing as you can. Take screenshots of the conversations, hold onto the messages that they’re sending, don’t delete anything. It will make it easier to report the person and take action against them.
Report the Bully:
Bullying is a horrible epidemic in today’s world and one way to try and stop it is to report a bully if you or someone you know is being bullied. Remember the evidence I told you to hold onto? That is for when you decide to take action against the bully or group of bullies. If you’re being bullied by someone at your school, look into their policies on cyberbullying and report it to the appropriate person there. If you’re the parent of someone being bullied, consider contacting the bully’s parents. If the bullying is more serious, consider contacting an attorney as in some cases, you will be able to take the bully(s) to court and sue them. Finally, if the matter is really serious, contact your local authorities and they will be able to help you further as to how to go about dealing with the matter.
If you are on a forum, in a chatroom or what have you, make sure to report the bully to the administrator and/or owner of the site. They will more than likely be banned from said website and then you won’t have to deal with them. Again, make sure you have all your evidence in order in case they want to see documentation and if they want said documentation for their own records.
Remember, bullying is NOT OKAY. And the only way we’re going to stop it is if we work together and don’t stay silent. Be safe.
How do you deal with a cyberbully when you encounter them?Photo Credit: Kid-Josh
Posted on August 4, 2012 by Felicia