With the popularity of internet forums and social networks, it’s not uncommon for users to have to find ways to cope with cyber bullying. Sadly, the anonymity of the internet causes many people to behave in ways that they would never dream of when talking face to face. So if you find that you’re being made a target, try these ways to cope with cyber bullying …
Perhaps the best of all ways to cope with cyber bullying is to simply ignore it. Bullying in real life is much harder to ignore, but someone cannot physically bully you via a computer. So if anyone is posting nasty comments aimed at you, try the tactic of taking absolutely no notice. Are they really worth your attention?
2. Never Respond
When someone is verbally bullying you, the temptation to respond is almost irresistible. But stop and think before you do. There is no point getting into an argument, which will just go on and on. People never admit that they are wrong, and if they have an idea in their head they will not let it go, no matter how much you try to convince them. Don’t dignify their behaviour with a response, and it may stop.
If the bullying is taking the form of threats, or publishing personal information about you, report it to the forum admins. They should be prepared to take action, including banning the perpetrator. Taking a screenshot of messages and posts may be useful as evidence. If you are under 18, report what is happening to your parents as well.
4. Delete and Block
If you enjoy posting on a forum where you are being bullied, then you have every right to stay there. But if you aren’t that concerned about it, then delete your account. The bully can’t bother you if you’re not there! If you want to stay on a forum, then block the person from sending you private messages (and forward any you have received from them to the admins).
5. They Have the Problem
Remember that the person who is doing the bullying is the one who has the problem. Yes, they are forcing it onto you, but you don’t have to respond to it. In fact, their behaviour is rather pathetic. Only cowards hide behind a screen and post nasty comments. Recognise that they have issues, and leave them to it.
6. Talk to Your Kids
If you are a parent, warn your kids to tell you if they are the victims of cyber bullying and explain the forms that it may take. Make sure that they are not using forums that they are too young to officially belong to. Many children have computers in their room, which means that you may not be aware of what is happening. Consider limiting their access to the internet to a family room, where you can keep a closer eye on what they view.
7. Pity Them
Frankly, cyber bullies are rather pathetic individuals, as are all bullies. They wouldn’t behave as they do if they didn’t have their user name to disguise who they are. Feel sorry for them, and you take away their power to hurt you. What they type may be vicious and unpleasant, but it shows them up for what they are. Give them your pity, not your attention.
One of the worst aspects of the internet is how it brings out the bullying side of individuals. We are all capable of taking what is said much too seriously, and disagreements can very quickly escalate into abuse and targeted bullying. Never get involved in online arguments, it really isn’t worth it. Have you ever had to deal with a cyber bully, and just how far did they go?