Bullying used to be something that only happened in person – face-to-face. But in today’s world of constantly changing technology, bullies can also spread their hate with the push of a button – 24/7.
Cyberbullying is a huge threat to anyone who uses a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. This form of bullying can be as close as your next text or e-mail – so it pays to educate yourself about cyberbullying, what to do if it happens to you… and what you can do to end it.
What is Cyberbullying?
The National Crime Prevention Council defines cyberbullying as “using the Internet, cell phones or other technology to send or post images or texts intended to hurt or embarrass another person.”
What does cyberbullying look like?
Cyberbullying can take many forms. Here are just a few examples:
- Posting threats or spreading rumors online
- Posting an embarrassing video on a social media site, such as Facebook or YouTube
- Attempting to trick, tease, bully or spread rumors about a person by pretending to be someone else
- Threatening someone by using Xbox, PlayStation or a similar live streaming gaming system
How can I prevent cyberbullying?
- Just don’t do it!
- Speak up if your friends or classmates are doing it! Tell them it’s wrong!
- Tell an adult you trust if a friend or classmate is being cyberbullied.
- Stop and think before you post something that might be hurtful to others.
- Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
- Be smart about posting or sending photos of yourself that others could use to embarrass you.
- Create awareness about cyberbullying by starting a movement or campaign, creating a club or organizing an event.
What should I do if I’m being cyberbullied?
- Don’t keep it to yourself. Speak up and tell someone you trust – your parents, a teacher or a good friend.
- Ignore it. If bullies don’t get a response, they might just go on to someone else.
- Don’t retaliate. It only encourages the bully and it might get YOU in trouble.
- If the bullying continues, calmly and respectfully tell the bully to stop.
- Laugh it off. Someone might just be trying to be funny, not hurtful.
- Keep a record of the cyberbullying and save the evidence. Print out Facebook messages and e-mails, save text messages and grab screen shots to build your case.
- Block the bullies from messaging you or being able to see you online. Contact your cell phone company to see if it can block certain phone numbers.
- Report cyberbullying to the content provider of the site where the bullying is taking place. It
- Don’t pass along messages from cyberbullies. Don’t add to the problem.
- Call the police if you feel you or someone else is in danger.
STOP BULLYING TIPS FOR KIDS
- Physical Bullying – If you feel threatened, keep detailed notes of the event and alert the authorities immediately.
- Verbal Bullying – If you refuse to react emotionally and remain unfazed by the bully’s words, the bullying will stop.
- Cyberbullying – A brief and kind response will make the bully look and feel foolish, ending the online bullying.
- Social Exclusion – Enjoy hanging out with a few good friends and don’t expect to be accepted by everyone.
- Adult Bullies – With the help of a caring adult, confront the adult bully in an attitude of respect. Avoid arguing.
STOP BULLYING TIPS FOR PARENTS
- If the bullying is physical You must rescue your child from physical threats of violence that would cause objective harm to his or her body or property. Keep detailed notes of the event and alert the authorities immediately.
- If the bullying is verbal You must teach your child to not get upset. If children have an emotional reaction to the bully (showing anger or tears), the verbal bullying will continue. If they don’t get upset, the verbal bullying will quickly stop.
- If the bullying is online You must teach your child how to respond using the Golden Rule. (Treat everyone like friends, even your enemies). A brief and kind response will make the bully look and feel foolish, and the online bullying will quickly stop.
- If the bullying involves social exclusion You must help children to understand that not everyone will want to be their friend. When they can enjoy a few loyal friends and refuse to seek approval from everyone else, their life will become much happier.
- If the bullying is from an adult You must assist your child in confronting the adult in an attitude of respect and with a desire for reconciliation. Blaming or attacking the adult will only escalate hostilities and make things worse for your child. Respectful confrontation can quickly bring an end to the problem.