Cyberbullying for Dummies: How to Know when Someone’s Crossed the Line
Cyberbullying for Dummies Pointer #1: So you’re online, minding your own business; when all of a sudden someone approaches you…maybe It’s someone you know nothing about, or who you’ve encountered briefly before. You’re not sure whether to open up or not, but they lure you in; maybe by complimenting you or expressing interest, or maybe by making you feel needed and special.
Then things gradually start taking an ugly turn. At first, it might be unnoticeable changes, such as subtle remarks that make you feel uncomfortable; then it gets drastic. This person is constantly getting on your nerves, and not making you feel good- maybe you don’t know how to make that clear for them, or maybe you have but they’re still pushing it.
So take an action NOW!
And now it’s turning into harassment, or perhaps stalking? Perhaps even serious verbal abuse or threatening?
Cyberbullying for Dummies Pointer #2: You don’t know what to do exactly; you might not even know who they are or how to get them- they may be constantly changing aliases or contacting you from different accounts, and they might even try to hack your account- but before you panic and before they sabotage your sense of security or confidence; know one thing:
They have a problem- and it’s not you, and THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
Cyberbullying for Dummies Pointer #3: Now first let me give you a few statistics on cyberbullying, just to warm you up before we get to the juicy stuff:
-32% of teens overall say that they have been targets of a range of annoying or potentially menacing online activities (this is an indication of just how common cyber-bullying is; if you’re a victim, then you have to know that this happens to a lot of people, and It’s NOT their fault)
-15% say that someone has posted or forwarded a private message that they’ve written
-13% say that someone has spread a rumour about them online
-13% say that someone has sent them a threatening or aggressive message, and 6% say that someone has posted an embarrassing photo of them online (bullies are quite sadistic, they probably wouldn’t have the courage to do this in real life, and once again, if this is happening to you- know that you’re not alone)
-38% of online girls report being bullied, compared to 26% of online boys; particularly older girls (ages 15-17 reach 41%)
-13% of teens who use social media say that they’ve had an experience on a social network that made them feel nervous about going to school the next day.
That’s a lot of people!
Cyberbullying for Dummies Pointer #4: The reason we keep repeating that, and the reason you need to know about the statistics; is to know how widespread cyberbullying is- this doesn’t reduce its significance or sting, but if all these people went through it, dealt with it, and moved on- so why should you be any different?
Let this be a drive to stop the bully, before they do this to someone else, no matter how violent they seem; they’re too weak to even confront you in person!