Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

In recent times, everyone has access to social media. May it be a teen or an adult, everyone knows how to use the internet. Social media has, of course, helped us all in many ways, but at the same time, it also has bad sides to it. While you can share your story and have numerous people support you online, you could also have numerous people troll you or harass you for the same.

Cyberbullying: The bad side of the internet.

The act of harassing, intimidating, or otherwise causing major harm to another person via digital technologies, such as the internet and social media platforms, is called cyberbullying or online bullying. 

It may take many forms, including sending threatening or hostile messages, spreading rumours or false information about someone, uploading humiliating stuff online, or excluding someone from online social networks. 

The fact that it may occur at any moment and the victim may have a difficult time escaping from it makes cyberbullying one of the most dangerous forms of harassment. 

It has the potential to inflict a great amount of mental damage, and in rare circumstances, it may even lead to suicide. It is essential to recognize the early warnings of internet abuse and take precautions to avoid it. It is also necessary to stop it if it is happening.

Why do people indulge in online harassment?

People’s decisions to participate in harassing behaviour toward others online might be motivated by a wide variety of factors. Some people may engage in this behaviour to release pent-up emotions or rage. Some may even do it to feel more powerful or in control of their lives. 

Sense of anonymity.

These online bullies say or do things online that they wouldn’t feel comfortable saying or doing in person. They take pleasure in the sense of anonymity that the internet affords them. They love to hide behind a screen and act in such a way. The anonymity and absence of face-to-face connection make it simpler for individuals to engage in harassing behaviour online. They may not experience the same level of responsibility or accountability for their conduct as they would if they were dealing with someone in person. This might make them less likely to take responsibility for their behaviour.

Sense of pleasure.

Some people may participate in harassing behaviour online because they take pleasure in causing others pain or misery. These people believe that it is humorous to do so. They also think it’s funny to see another person feel unhappy or troubled as a direct result of their acts. These bullies usually do not give any thought to how their behaviour affects the person they are trying to get back at.

Being naive of their actions.

It’s possible that some individuals don’t recognise that their conduct is harmful or improper. They don’t comprehend the impact it may have on others. In other words, they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. They may be unaware that their behaviour is an act of harassment or bullying. Bullies sometimes fail to consider the potential long-term effects of their behaviour on the target of their harassment or bullying. It is only after something tragic happens that they realise what they have done.

Influence of other people.

There are aspects of society and culture that might have a role in the behaviour of harassers online. People might be more inclined to engage in online harassment if raised in a society that accepts or encourages violent or abusive behaviour. This is especially true if they were exposed to this culture at a young age. They may have never been taught constructive ways of communicating or resolving issues, and it’s also possible that they don’t realise how their actions affect others.

Sense of revenge.

Children who have been bullied frequently seek revenge rather than making an effort to address the issue more effectively. The victims of bullying are driven by the desire to exact revenge for the anguish they have endured at the hands of their tormentors. People frequently call to the affected individuals as bully-victims when something similar happens.

Victims of bullying may come to believe that their behaviour is acceptable since they, too, have been abused and harassed by others. These victims of bullying want others to experience what they have experienced and believe they are right in doing so. They could feel release and vindication for what they went through if they participated in cyberbullying of others. On other occasions, they may attack someone who, in their estimation, is weaker or more defenceless than they are.

How to deal with online bullying? 

Everything has a solution in its initial stage. You can take precautions to not be a victim of cyberbullying. It is necessary to avoid and stop cyberbullying since it may have major effects on the mental health and well-being of individuals who experience it. It is also important to prevent it. Consider the following remedies for coping with cyberbullying:

  • Don’t respond or counterattack.

Sometimes, an aggressor wants a reaction because they believe it will give them more control over you. You don’t want to give a bully more power. When you can, get away from what is happening. You shouldn’t engage the bully in conversation. It is possible that responding to a bully can give them the attention that they need, which will only encourage them to continue their conduct. Instead, you should work to ignore them and go on with your life.

If you can’t ignore it, use humour to divert a bully from his aggressive behaviour. Telling the individual to stop is entirely up to you; however, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, don’t. You must be clear that you will no longer tolerate this treatment.

You can establish norms and limits for appropriate conduct while online. Let the other people know that you won’t put up with their abusive bullying actions.

  • Inform others around you about the problem.

You can report any instances of bullying to the relevant authorities. This may involve administrators from the school, members of police enforcement, or social media sites. 

Gather evidence of the bullying. You should keep a record of any messages or postings you think to be bullying and consider whether or not you should report them to the school or the social media site in question. Make use of the resources available, and inquire for assistance. 

Have a conversation about what’s going on with an adult or counsellor you can trust. They can provide you with assistance and assist you in formulating a strategy to deal with the predicament.

People who have experienced online bullying get a lot of help from many organizations and agencies. Do not be hesitant to ask for help when you are being harassed, and do not be reluctant to speak up either.

  • Make use of privacy settings and tools for blocking.

Protecting oneself from the bully on social media sites may be done by using the privacy settings and blocking options that are accessible on such platforms. Because of this, it will be much more difficult for them to get in touch with you or see what you publish.

Think about making some changes to the way you act online. If you’re being harassed online, you may choose to change your online activities, for example by making your social media handle private or reducing your time spent online.

Especially young children and teenagers should be taught how to use privacy tools to protect themselves online.

Awareness to avoid cyberbullying.

  • Support the victims.

If you understand what online bullying is and how it may affect individuals, you will be better able to identify it when it happens and know how to react to it.

Obtaining assistance for individuals that were bullied can help them. If you know someone who has been the target of cyberbullying, you must show them support and urge them to get assistance from an adult they can rely on or a mental health professional.

  • Encourage acts of kindness.

Encourage children and teenagers to be nice and supportive online, be positive, and speak out against bullying when they observe it taking place. Foster compassion and understanding through encouraging empathy. 

Teach children and teenagers to be kind and understanding of one another, as well as to be aware that their words and actions may have a significant influence on the feelings and experiences of others.

We can help prevent cyberbullying and create a safer and more positive atmosphere for everyone if we take these actions and promote a culture of kindness and respect online.

You should encourage other people to be nice and supportive online and encourage them to speak out against bullying when they see it occurring.

  • Encourage open communication.

Encourage your kid or teenager to come speak to you or another trusted adult about bullying if they are personally experiencing it or have seen it occurring to anyone else. If your child or teenager is experiencing it individually or has witnessed it occurring to anyone else.

  • Take part in initiatives.

Participate in ongoing efforts to find a solution to the issue. There are many initiatives made on a local or national level to combat cyberbullying, such as regulations or campaigns to increase awareness of the issue. Think about joining in on these activities to help make a difference and see if you can contribute.

What are the consequences of cyberbullying?

It is essential to remember that harassing behaviour of any kind, including that which occurs via the internet, i.e. cyber harassment is never okay under any circumstances. Harassment perpetrated via the internet can have major repercussions for the individual who is the subject of the behaviour, including mental anguish, social alienation, and even, in extreme situations, physical violence. 

Here are the consequences of cyberbullying:

  • Mental Trauma:

The victims of cyberbullying have a hard time coping with what they have been targeted as. No one wishes to be disrespected. To face humiliation in front of thousands of people online is the worst. There is a high chance that the victims of cyberbullying would have to undertake therapy to go back to their normal state. 

  • Physical harm:

When it gets too much to handle, the mental trauma could slowly slip into physical harm. Some people cope with mental pressure through physical harm. This is the worst. Such trauma might develop into suicide if nothing is done right away to stop it.

Conclusion.

As you must have read above, cyberbullying has become more frequent these days. The only way to put a full stop to it is if people come together and fight against it. Cyberbullying is not something normal. It is a very big crime. People who are victims of online bullying are severely affected mentally and physically. 

Be careful not to engage in any kind of online bullying. If you see one of your pals harassing someone online, be cautious to confront them and warn them of the consequences of their actions. Tell them that it is a crime and they will have to face the punishment if they continue doing so.

Setting boundaries, banning or reporting problematic persons, and getting help from friends, family, or other reliable sources are all critical actions to take in the fight against and prevention of online harassment. It is crucial to follow these steps. It is essential to remember that you are not the only one going through what you are going through if you are being harassed online and that there are services available to assist you.

Let us all stand up for each other and make the world a better place where everyone treats everyone with kindness, compassion and respect. 

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How To Deal With Cyberbullying?

The issue of cyberbullying is a severe one, but there are strategies available to combat it. Bystanders can play a part in the preventative process by intervening when they see cyberbullying taking place. By working together, we can make the internet a friendlier and less dangerous environment for people of all ages and backgrounds.