As teenagers, it is already difficult enough to navigate through life, trying to fit in and find your place in your life. This is part of the reason cyberbullying and bullying in person have become such a “normal” part of society. While many people seem willing to accept the problem, there are others who wonder what they can do to stop it. When you learn what you need to do to stand up to cyberbullying and be a hero, you will be able to feel better about yourself and truly make a difference in the world.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Why Should You Care?
Sometimes teenagers have the attitude that if it doesn’t directly impact them, why bother getting involved? As young children, it becomes ingrained that to report a problem is tattling and unacceptable by peers. As teenagers, this reasoning still exists, often even carrying over into adulthood. However, there is good reason to get involved in standing up to a bully, even if it doesn’t directly affect you. While being the target of bullying can leave you feeling alone, anxious and even scared, witnessing this behaviour can have a negative impact on you as well. You may feel guilty for not intervening or worried it may happen to you. Some teens even abandon friendships so they aren’t seen with a bullying target to save themselves. This is not the best way to handle bullying or cyberbullying.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Learn to Identify
The first thing you need to do is to learn to identify bullying. You would clearly know another teen is being bullied if he is pushed around or cornered and confronted on a regular basis. However, this isn’t the only way bullying occurs, especially online. When a person is bullied online, it is more likely to be verbal and emotional abuse. This can mean bad language, making threats against another person or even making the situation uncomfortable for another person. If you are able to identify bullying, you are better able to actually do something about it.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Don’t Join In
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to curb bullying is to avoid joining in with those who are bullying another student. It may not seem like you are taking a stand by not joining in on the behaviour, but with the mentality of “everyone’s doing it,” just one person who isn’t joining in can show others that there are other options. Just because a group of people is bullying one person online doesn’t mean you have to join in to be accepted. Even if you don’t report the issue to the website owner or a parent, you will be doing something by staying strong and not creating a bigger problem.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Befriend the Bullied
You will be a hero in the eyes of the bullied by befriending them, even though they are being bullied by other people. When a person falls victim to a bully or a group of bullies, it is easy to feel alone, as if you are the only person who has ever experienced this problem and no one cares about you. When someone reaches out to you amid the chaos, it can make you feel like you are worth something and don’t deserve to be bullied or harassed. Just being his friend and supporting him through this time can be enough to help him get through the issue and stand up to the bully himself.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Report Bullying Behaviour
Despite the fact it feels like tattling and may even feel wrong to do, it is important to report any bullying behaviour you see, especially when you see it online. Cyberbullying may be a newer method of bullying, but it is no less harmful. To be a true hero, you need to bring this behaviour to the attention of someone who can actually do something about it. The website administrators or even moderators on some websites need to know when this type of behaviour is going on. Make sure you can give them examples, user names and even dates and times of the incidents to help them investigate and take the proper actions to stop the behaviour from continuing.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Say Something
It can be tempting to keep quiet when you see the signs of bullying. Whether you are afraid of being bullied yourself because you said something or you don’t feel it is really your place to get involved, saying something can be all that is needed to put a stop to the behaviour. Many bullies engage in this behaviour because they think they can get away with it. When you call them out on their behaviour, they may be likely to stop. The more people who stand up to the bully and tell him to stop, the more likely he is to take the message to heart or take his bullying behaviour elsewhere.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Team Up
There is strength in numbers, even when you are dealing with bullying online. Sometimes standing up to the bully on your own isn’t enough to really have an impact and make a difference. If you are online in a chat room or a role-playing game, look for other people who aren’t the target of bullying and aren’t participating in the behaviour. Band together against the bully and work together to resolve the issue. This can mean taking a stand and telling him you won’t tolerate the behaviour or perhaps it means leaving the area and going to another one. If you choose to walk away from the behaviour, consider contacting the person who is the target and asking him to go with you so you can provide him with a safe haven. If the room clears out, the bullying can’t continue.
Stand Up to Cyberbullying: Don’t Stand by and Watch
One of the biggest problems with bullying is those who stand by and watch. Even though you aren’t actively participating, you are still contributing to the behaviour. Ignoring bullying behaviour actually seems to encourage the bullies to keep it up. This is why it is so important for you to be willing to take action and actually do something about this behaviour. If more teens were willing to take a stand against bullies and their negative behaviour, the number of instances of bullying, both online and in the real world.
The moral of the story is not to stand by and watch the bullying behaviour happen around you. Even if you aren’t the target, bullying has a negative impact on the world around you and needs to be stopped to avoid pain and suffering for the undeserving victims in this. As a teenager, it can be difficult to go against the grain and do what is right, especially when it involves standing up to someone who could potentially cause problems for you as well. However, when you learn how to identify bullying, how it affects you, even without being the victim, and what you can do to be the hero and stop the behaviour, you will feel more confident in taking the right steps to make the world a happier place for everyone.
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