Why Does It Happen?
Going online makes it easier for people to say and do things they probably wouldn’t do face to face. Online bullies don’t get to see their victims’ reactions in real life, so this can cocoon them from the real damage that they are doing. Quite often, people bully because they are going through something difficult themselves and taking it out on others is the only way they know how to get control of their own emotions.
What Is Online Bullying?
Online bullying – also known as cyberbullying – is bullying that takes place on the Internet or via electronic devices and mobile phones. It can include:
Sending someone mean or threatening emails, direct messages or text messages.
- Hacking into someone’s online account.
- Being rude or mean to someone when playing online games.
- Posting private or embarrassing photos online or sending them to others.
- Creating fake social media accounts that mock someone or trick them.
- Excluding someone from an online conversation or blocking them for no reason.
BE KIND ONLINE
Before pressing ‘send’ on comments, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Why am I posting this?
- Would I say this in real life?
- How would I feel if somebody said this to me?
How Does It Feel To Be Bullied?
Being bullied can impact your self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Because it happens on your phone, tablet or computer, it can feel like you are under threat even when you’re in a safe environment, such as your bedroom. Don’t forget: It is NOT your fault if you’re being bullied.
Am I An Online Bully?
Sometimes it isn’t obvious that what you are doing is wrong, but if you use digital technology to upset, anger or embarrass someone on purpose, this means you’re involved in online bullying. It might be as simple as ‘liking’ a mean post, laughing at an online video, or spreading a rumor, but the person being bullied could feel like they are being ganged up on. Think about how it would make you feel if it happened to you. Everyone can make mistakes, but it’s important to learn from them – go back and delete any upsetting or nasty posts, tweets or comments you’ve written.
Who Do I Tell?
You don’t have to deal with the bullying on your own. Talk to an adult that you trust – a parent, guardian, or teacher. Most websites, social media websites and online games or mobile apps let you report and block people who are bothering you.
How Do I Prove It?
When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed – record the dates and times when cyberbullying has occurred, and save and print screenshots, emails and text messages.
How Can I Stay Safe?
Make sure your privacy settings are set so that only people you know and trust can see what you post. Never give out personal information online, such as in public profiles, chat rooms or blogs, and avoid further
communication with those sending the messages. Keep aware of fake profiles and internet users pretending to be someone they are not.