No, it’s not okay to suffer alone. It’s not okay to cry yourself to sleep every night. If you are a victim of cyberbullying, it can feel like no one understands you, and you have no one to help you out. It’s always important to know that you are never alone to deal with this pain.
Back in the days, bullying was straight forward. Kids were ganging up on the weaker kid, taunting, pushing the more vulnerable kid around, or stealing their stuff. However, this is not acceptable either, but this took the actual brute aggression, and most kids didn’t reach up to THAT level of cruelty. But ever since the internet happened, many physically weaker kids took it as a weapon for revenge. If you’ve seen the series “13 reasons why” or “Pretty Little Liars,” you’ll understand the cyberbullying part better, it is a lot more intimidating than physical violence.
Let’s break it out further.
Usually, tween and teens end up as victims of cyberbullying; however, workplace cyberbullying does exist, too. Cyberbullies are anonymous and can track you down no matter where you are, whether it’s school, home, your bedroom, or any other den that exists, the bullying remains 24/7. The bullies use digital technologies to threaten, harass, or humiliate the victim, hence the name. No face-to-face contact is needed.
Cyberbullying comes in all shapes and sizes. Anyone with a cellphone and internet can cyberbully without having to reveal the true identity.
Here are seven surprising cyberbullying statistics:
45% of kids confessed that they had been bullied online
Around 40% of them have become targets by bullies
70% of them witnessed cyberbullying
50% are afraid of their online bullies
92% of cyberbullying occurs through commenting and chatting on social media
The victims are more likely to commit suicide
Out of 10, only two would inform their parents or teachers of being cyberbullied
In case your child is suffering due to cyberbullying, then we have listed down a few preventions for you to go through.
Monitor Online Activity
If you have a MPS IT degree, now is the time for you to use it. But if you don’t, you don’t have to worry. Stay calm and handle it professionally. An advantage of cyberbullying is that it can be noticed if you take action and can gather evidence quickly, if a little bit of legwork saves the life and mental health of your child, it’s all worth it in the end.
Go ahead and purchase software that will allow you to monitor your child’s online activity. It is essential to keep tabs on what kind of technology your child is using, the screen time, and who they are in contact with. Measuring their physical behavior counts a lot, too. It goes for both parents of the cyberbully and parents of the victim.
If your child is being bullied on any social media handle like Facebook, it would be advisable for you to be ‘friends’ with your kid to get updates on the insider. If he/she does not feel it’s cool to add their parents on their profile, make a fake account just for the sake of protecting your child (please know the difference between protection and overprotection).
The same rule applies if you are being bullied at the workplace, a friend of yours can pitch in to keep tabs on you or even you can monitor the activity of the bully to gather evidence.
Don’t retaliate or respond
Yes, do not respond. It’s important to stay cold headed in such situations. Sometimes a reaction is what a cyberbully is looking for; your aggression is what makes them feel superior. The last thing you would want to do is empower your bully.
If you plan to retaliate, sometimes getting back at the bully turns you into one, then please don’t. If you fight fire with fire, it only gets worse.
As mentioned before, save all comments, messages, and posts as shreds of evidence. Take screenshots (if you can’t take a picture of your phone with a camera or another phone) and printouts of all that you have gathered. It will help you to go against the bully legally when you decide to report to the authorities; without proof, no one would believe you’re cyberbullied.
Report to the authorities
Not all types of cyberbullying are punishable as per the law. However, if it tends to escalate to the extreme, waste no time in reporting it to the authorities, contact your local police department or the nearest FBI office. They would either help you out or direct you to the appropriate law enforcement agency. It is needed, especially if it involves threats of physical or sexual violence, password theft, and identity theft.
For your kid, it is advisable to contact their guidance counselor and discuss the matters with them. A lot of educational institutions also hire a psychologist to help children combat stress regarding studies or such kind of bullying. It is helpful in case your kid does not feel comfortable sharing the pain and suffering with you. They can guide them better on getting out of such situations.
Close doors for the bully to contact you
the best way is to close all the doors to avoid the bully, Shut down all your current personal email accounts and social networking. If the bully attacks you via your phone, then change your number and get an unlisted number.
Don’t give out your new number, social media handles, and email to everyone, especially the suspects. Try to limit your online communication as much as possible to stay off the radar.
Engage more parents and youth
Build up a community consisting of adults and students to send out unifying messages to the cyberbully. Creating a school safety committee that controls and addresses such problems.
Cyberbullying and online transaction
Many of the payments take place through digital currency. People often invent their money in cryptocurrency where most of the hackers try to hack the accounts. You have to be vigilant and extra careful while making online payments. It is advisable not to share your data with any stranger.
Whether you are a student or an employee, it is important to stay mentally healthy and stable. You are not bullied because of who or what you are; you should acknowledge that. You are only being bullied because the bully feels inferior; the fault is at their end and not yours.
The bully is an unhappy human who wants to control your life for you to feel the same misery he/she feels, do not give the cyberbully that satisfaction and authority to control you. It can end sooner than you can say Jack Robinson only if you want it to, all you have to do is play smart. Suicide is not an option; it is not going to help you get out of trouble. Tackle it and be a role model for everyone.