May 7, 2016

How To Deal With Cyberbullying

Research shows that 70% of young people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18, but anyone and everyone can be a victim of cyberbullying regardless of how old they are or what kind career path they follow. It is important to know and understand not only what cyberbullying is, but what we can do to deal with it. Scoutlete is dedicated to the fight against bullying and would like to offer the following advice on how to handle cyberbullying if it happens to you:

Assess the situation. If this is a one-off comment, some name calling or a random person online it may be advised to simply block the user and move on. Should the bullying of more serious nature consider the following.

One of the most important considerations is your initial reaction; it is important to never respond by retaliating. Retaliation is simply continuing the cycle and becoming a bully yourself. Furthermore, by taking a vengeful stance you may in fact make the situation worse  or get yourself into trouble.

Despite the fact that retaliation is not the way to go, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t open the lines of communications with the aggressor. Sometimes it may be advisable to do so with someone else present such as a teacher, parent or human resource member. Mediation can often be incredibly influential but it important that any face-to-face communications be in a controlled and equal setting.

Remember that you are not alone. Don’t be scared to talk with someone about it. As much as it may feel that you are facing this alone, you don’t have to. Talking about it can not only help you to get the support you need, but also documents the situation which can be important should the bullying be continued or increase in severity.

Keep track. Documenting your encounters may help down the road should things become serious. Write down the date and time of the incident, or better yet, take a screen shot when possible.

Should the bullying be serious or continued, report it. There is no shame in speaking with a teacher, adult or human resource representative should you be experiencing bullying from someone at your school or workplace. Should the bullying continue, or be of serious nature (threatening etc.) it may be best to report it to the police. Sometimes aggressive cyberbullying can lead or develop into something more serious. If you are being threatened, fear for your safety or are having personal information divulged against your will, report it.

Finally, make sure you are aware of and update your privacy settings. Customize the privacy settings for each individual social media platform that you use and ensure that you are protecting yourself. Avoid connecting with people that you do not know and limit the amount of personal information that you share online.

Here are some links to several popular social media platforms and their respective privacy setting sections.

The anonymous nature of the internet can make it easy for people to believe that they can say or do what they want with little or no consequences, but you can take steps to protect yourself from online bullies and help to put an end to bullying altogether. Follow Scoutlete on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for updates and information on how you can help us to Bully No More.

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