Cyber-bullying is a common and very stressful problem in the lives of teens and tweens. Most of us have been involved in situations where mean text messages or emails have been sent to us or to our friends. Spreading rumors on social networks, posting embarrassing pictures or videos and setting up fake profiles are just some of the examples of ways the cyber-bully intimidates and harasses others.
Any kind of bullying has devastating effects on the lives and psyche of the victims. However, being the victim of cyber-bullying is especially stressful because of the anonymity and lack of a physical boundary and time frame within which the bullying occurs.
The anonymity and ease of information dissemination via the internet, gives bullies a chance to exploit the weaknesses of others. However, if ever faced with a situation in which you are the victim of online bullying, there are certain things you should do in an attempt to limit the negativity forced upon you.
3 Tips for Handling Online Harassment.
- Never try to keep it to yourself!
This is Rule #1! No matter how embarrassing or offensive the content, never try to keep it to yourself and internalize your victimization. Admittedly, ignoring the bully is sometimes a good way to deal with such an incident. However, even if you decide to not give the bully the satisfaction of a reaction, it is always important that your parents or close friends are aware of the situation. If nothing else, they will give you their perspective and input on handling the offending individual. Every situation seems less stressful if you have someone to fall back on for support.
- Keep Records
This may come in handy if the situation worsens and you need to take the case to the authorities or the website administration, teachers etc. Cases of online harassment are now being taken to court and many verdicts have been passed recently in favor of the victims. The first such verdict was passed in 2014.
- Take some time off the computer
When you are being targeted, it is easy to get caught up in the situation and perceive it to be more significant than it has to be. You need to realize that your entire life is not dictated by an image or a post on a website. Be sure to block or delete the offender if you are aware of their identity. Just turning off the computer, and leaving the website is a step in the right direction. Take a break and focus on sports or other hobbies and activities. Spend time with people who make you feel comfortable and happy to be who you are!
So whether you decide to tackle the bully head-on or refrain from reacting, remember to try to solve the problem in a positive matter instead of letting it bring you down emotionally. Staying cool may be the best tactic of all!