Whether you’re being cyber bullied or your grandchildren are, there are ways to combat the problem so you can feel safe online again.
Cyber bullying occurs when the internet, emails, text messages, instant messaging, social media websites, online forums, chat rooms, or other digital technology are used to harass, threaten, or humiliate another person. And unlike traditional forms of bullying, cyber bullying occur entirely on a digital basis and doesn’t require face-to-face contact or even any witnesses. Anyone with an internet connection or a phone is capable of cyber bullying someone, and it is a worrying trend around the world.
Adult cyber bullying often takes the form of “trolling”. Trolls are an annoying problem on forums, webpages and Facebook and are people who do something to get a rise out of another.
Here are some tips to get rid of the bullies once and for all.
A reaction is exactly what the bully is looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. As for retaliating, getting back at a bully turns you into one – two wrongs don’t make a right. Don’t show them that they are affecting you because this will only spur them on.
It’s not your fault
Cyber bullying shouldn’t be confused with an argument between two people, but if someone is repeatedly cruel to you, that is classified as cyber bullying and you mustn’t blame yourself. No one deserves to be treated cruelly and no one should do it to another person regardless of circumstance.
Save the evidence
A silver lining to cyber bullying is that you will have evidence of the bullying and can take screen shots or photos. Save them and show to someone who can help.
Block the person
Not only will blocking the person make it impossible for that person to contact you, it will make you feel better as you will not have to read or see what they are saying to you. Most social media apps and services allow you to block the person harassing you. You can also report the problem on the site or app, and Facebook has a very good system that can weed out online bullies. If you’re getting threats of physical harm that are bypassing your blocks, you should call your local police and consider reporting it.
Unplug from the internet
If you are getting nasty messages and can’t take it any more, it might be advisable to get off the internet and your phone for a little while. Even if it’s for a day, you will feel relief knowing you are able to turn it off.
Report cyberbullying to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
If the social media website fails to remove the material or person bullying your grandchild, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. In order for the Office to review your cyberbullying complaint, the cyberbullying material must be posted on a social media service or relevant electronic service, and be likely to have a seriously threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating effect on an Australian child.
Here’s our top tips. Have you ever been cyber bullied? What happened and how did you make it stop?