What If I’m Being Cyberbullied?

by Frederick Akinola
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The Internet makes bullying easy because of the faceless power of the Internet. Some people are more likely to be targeted. That includes those who appear introverted, are perceived as different, or suffer from low self-esteem  Being cyberbullied has serious effects. It can foster loneliness and depression, and it has even led some victims to commit suicide. If you’re a young parent trying to protect your child’s internet space, check here for better tips on that.

What you can do?

If you are being cyberbullied, remember this: How you respond can make things get better or worse. Try one or more of the following suggestions.

Ignore the bully.

The primary goal of bullies is to get targets to lose their cool. When targets lose their cool, they essentially hand over power to the bully.

                                    Sometimes the best response is no response.

Resist the urge to retaliate

Retaliation could also make it appear that you are as much a part of the problem as the bully. Don’t add fuel to the fire. There are things you can do to stop the bullying​—without making the situation worse.  For example: Block the person who is sending the messages. What you don’t read can’t hurt you.

Save all evidence, even if you do not read it. That includes aggressive text messages, instant messages, e-mails, posts on blogs or social media, voice messages, or any other communication.

Tell the cyberbully to stop. Send a firm but non-emotional message, such as: Do not send any more messages. Remove what you have posted. If this does not stop, I will take further steps to ensure that it does.

 Build your self-confidence.

Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Like physical bullies, cyberbullies prey on people who seem vulnerable.

 Tell an adult.

Start with your parents. You can also report the situation to the website or service that the bully is using. In severe situations, you and your parents should report the situation to your school, report it to the police, or even seek legal advice.

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