The majority of individuals, at some point in their life, have been bullied in some manner. Bullying may leave a long-lasting imprint no matter the form it takes: being called names, having your belongings removed from you without your consent, being physically injured, or even being targeted online. All of these activities affect individuals to some extent and haunt them throughout their lives.
Bullying has repercussions that may last far into adulthood and can have a detrimental effect not just on mental health but also on physical health. Even cyberbullying, in which people harass you online, makes you feel the same despite not being face-to-face.
What Exactly is Cyber Bullying?
Any sort of abusive, hostile, or threatening conduct aimed toward a person through the internet or through other digital communication channels is referred to as online harassment. It may come in a variety of forms, like:
- Cyberbullying is when someone is bullied, intimidated, or harassed through the internet or other digital technologies, often by sending unpleasant, threatening, or continually harsh messages.
- Cyberstalking is the practice of stalking or harassing someone online or via other digital means, often by sending them frightening or menacing messages repeatedly or by keeping track of their online activities.
- Any speech, behavior, writing, or expression that calls for violent or prejudiced action against or by a certain person or group or because it disparages or intimidates a specific person or group is considered hate speech.
- Online solicitations for sexual favors, unwelcome and improper sexual approaches, and other verbal acts of a sexual nature are all examples of online sexual harassment.
For the victim of online harassment, the effects may be severe and include mental discomfort, fear, and even physical injury. It is crucial to get assistance and support from dependable friends, family, or experts if you are experiencing online harassment.
Ways to Deal With Online Harassment?
It is essential to keep in mind that you are not the only one going through the experience of being bullied. There are a great number of individuals who have been through the same or similar experience and have emerged strongly from it. The following is a list of suggestions for dealing with cyberbullying:
1. Analyze what is happening.
The first thing that you need to do is focus on your breathing. It is recommended that you step away from the gadget or social networking sites where cyberbullying is occurring for a short period of time. Take a break from it. Bear in mind that bullies almost always have their own issues and are attempting to make themselves feel better by assaulting you in the first place. Absolutely nothing they say can be trusted.
For example, it could be dangerous to your health if you focus on the actions of the bully. This can lead to serious anxiety. Never jump to conclusions. If someone says that you are fat, it does not really mean that you are. Always analyze a situation and only then react to whatever is happening. Jumping to conclusions can be very harmful to you.
2. Communicate with a reliable person you know.
It may be tough to speak about what is going on, but it is essential that you tell someone you trust about what is occurring. This person might be a friend, a parent, or a teacher. Conversation with another person might make you feel less alone and can provide you with support. Discussing what’s happening with a reliable person might make you feel less alone and more supported.
They are going to be able to assist you in getting through this challenging period. Keep in mind that going through this ordeal by yourself is not necessary and is not something you should do. If you are honest with yourself and others around you, they will offer you the essential support and care to get through this.
For example, see how you feel when you do not share stressful things with others and see how you feel after sharing. A huge difference, right? It is always better to unload your burden. This does not mean that you load your burden onto others. Communicating is only about sharing your experience. Their words will help you find comfort in those tough times of being a victim.
3. Always be sure to keep a record.
You should not remove any abusive comments or messages you get online. If you feel the need to share your tale with a responsible adult, your school, or the police, be in mind that in order for them to take action, they may want evidence of the cyberbullying. You can store this data on a laptop, mobile or personal computer.
If you are the target of bullying, maintaining a log of the incidents that take place is an essential step to take. This might be a textual record, but it can also be an audio recording or even a video recording. Make sure that you save any form of online abuse that may definitely be of assistance to you. If you ultimately decide to take further action against the bully, you may use this as proof in your case.
If the bullying occurs on a website or service, you should report the bully to the administrator of that site or service. The majority of websites and social media platforms have protocols in place to deal with instances of cyberbullying. Anyone that goes against these protocols can be recorded and punished.
For example, what if someone asks you what the proof that you have been bullied online is? You cannot convince people solely through speaking, right? You need concrete proof against your bully. Any form of their action of bullying towards you will help you be on the safer side. If things get legal, you can make sure of the data that you stored and present it to legal authorities.
After preventing the bully from accessing your account, you are required to report both the individual and the messages you have been getting to the social networking site in question. The authorities do an investigation into what has been going on, and then they will take appropriate action against the cyberbully.
4. Be a strong advocate for yourself.
One of the most effective strategies to cope with a bully is to take a position for yourself. Although this could be challenging for you, it is essential to keep in mind that you deserve to be treated with respect at all times. You should make an effort to communicate with the person who is bullying you and let them know that their actions are not tolerated by you.
If the bully is someone you know from your school, club, or team or via common acquaintances, it may be a good idea to approach them. If the bully is someone you don’t know, it’s best to avoid the situation. Some people who harass you online aren’t even conscious of what they’re doing or how it affects you emotionally. Do not assume that they are aware. Make sure you tell them to stop whatever it is that they are doing to you.
For example, imagine if someone who was your friend sent you weird texts online in your direct messages and it makes you feel uncomfortable. Seeing this, your friend enjoys annoying you, so they keep repeating this. But what about their intention? Their intention could be only to have friendly jokes, but it could come off as cyberbullying to you.
The best way to deal with this is to confront the person and make them aware of their actions. If they do not listen and still continue harassing you, then you can take any legal action that you wish against them.
5. Pay no attention to the cyberbully.
Ignoring a bully is often the most effective way to deal with them, so keep that in mind. Bullies are often looking for attention, and if you don’t pay any attention to them, they can ultimately quit. It is good to have your first line of defense to ignore the bully. Responding to them in any way, even to urge them to stop, would simply encourage them to continue.
For example, let us understand what bullies want. They want to anger you and cause you pain, but more than anything else, they want you to react to what they have to say. Therefore, you should never give a cyberbully what they ask for. Ignore any and all of the messages and/or comments. This will not give them any chance to enjoy bullying you, and they will eventually leave you alone.
6. Seek the assistance of a qualified expert.
Sometimes it is not possible to share your trauma or problems with the people who know you. It leaves room to lie because we do not want to show ourselves as weak. If you are having trouble coping with the bullying, you may consider getting assistance from a trained expert. This person could be a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. They are able to provide you with further information on how to deal with the emotional repercussions of the bullying as well as assist you in dealing with the emotional impacts of the bullying.
For example, have you ever noticed how it is more comfortable to share things with people who you do not see daily? This is because there is no fear of judgment. You see them only during particular hours that you are comfortable with. Professional sessions also have the pact of confidentiality which will definitely make it easy for you to deal with the bully.
7. Change your social media settings.
Likely, the privacy settings on your various social networking accounts are not as robustly protected as they need to be since you have been the target of cyberbullying. Be careful to modify them so that only your friends can access your profile and anything else you do on the website.
Make it a point to prevent the bully from accessing the necessary social networking sites by blocking them. Because of this, they will be unable to communicate with you or interact with you in any way. It is imperative that you ban the cyberbully from accessing all of your social networking sites, even if you are only being bullied on a single one of them. This will communicate to them that you are not going to accept what they are doing to you or how they are making you feel in any way and that you are not going to tolerate it.
Remove the bully from all of your online accounts, including social media and email. Because of this, it will be more difficult for them to get in touch with you, and it will also help you from reading the unpleasant messages they send.
For example, if the bully cannot reach you then how will he or she even target you? They will not have any possible way to reach out to you if you change your settings.
8. Review all your friends and followers.
After you have gone through and checked your privacy settings, the next step is to go through your list of “friends” and get rid of everyone on the list who you don’t know, haven’t met, or don’t like for whatever reason. You won’t have to worry about a similar situation occurring to you ever again, thanks to this. Do not accept friend requests in the future from persons you do not know or have not met in person.
For example, it is really hard to interpret who the real cyberbully is. This is because bullying happens anonymously and behind a screen. Imagine that the bully was someone who already follows you or is your acquaintance who is jealous. Could be highly likely, right? Well, the best option would be to remove all the people that you have a doubt about from your existing followers. Do not take any risks with anyone.
It is of the utmost importance to address the issue of cyberbullying. Do not ignore it since doing so will just make the condition worse. Do not be scared to speak up in order to put a stop to it. If the bullying is to a serious degree, you should probably think about reporting it to the authorities. This is often done as a last option. Don’t be afraid to take the next step; just do it.
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.