How to deal with Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is much like any other type of bullying, with the difference being that it is all carried out via technology - whether that's over social media or text. In a 2014 UK national survey, it was found that over 50% of young people said they had witnessed others being bullied online, and 42% had at one point or another felt unsafe themselves.
In the clip above from Educating Greater Manchester, year 7 Year Leader Miss Bland discusses how social media can make it easier for people to bully, and she speaks to a student who is too frightened to eat her lunch in school, due to having experienced name-calling on Snapchat. Watch the full episode here.
So what can you do if you find yourself or someone else being cyberbullied? The tips and links below should help you to manage the situation.
Have you ever experienced cyberbullying?
It can be difficult, but if you ignore a cyberbully, it's likely that they will eventually get bored and give up. A response is usually exactly what a bully is looking for and if they see that you are unaffected by their comments, why would they continue wasting their time?
Save the proof
Thankfully, unlike verbal bullying, cyberbullying means that you will be able to collect evidence in case the situation develops into something worse. Save everything your cyberbully sends you, no matter how minor.
Easy peasy. If it's Facebook, unfriend them, if it's Twitter, mute them, if it's Snapchat, block them. Done. *Sassy emoji*
Tell an adult
There's no shame in sharing what's happening, with an adult. In fact, an adult will probably be able to defuse the situation more quickly than your bully can say "I beg for forgiveness". If you find it tough to speak to a parent, a school counsellor or teacher will be able to help, and they can maintain your anonymity if you wish.
Don't let the roles be reversed
In other words, don't become the bully yourself! Take a step back and think about how you would feel if you were being bullied. You might feel peer pressure from others to victimise someone else and you might be afraid that if you don't, you'll become the victim yourself. Try to be the bigger person and don't follow the crowd. Trust us, you'll feel a sense of pride and self-respect if you deny the pressure.
Don't stand by and watch
Don't be a bystander, and worse still, don't forward on messages and encourage the bullying. Be a friend whenever you can - tell bullies that they're out of order. The more people that start standing up to bullies, the more others will follow suit. What's stopping you from kicking off the trend?
Follow the Channel 4 support link for organisations that deal with bullying, harassment & internet safety