In 2021 with advanced technology and access to communication it is easier than ever to become a victim of a bully. If you’re an adult this may sound silly, but humans of all ages are now targets because of the internet. The more information we tend to put out there the more negative feedback we receive. For some people, negative comments and opinions can really get to them. Cyberbullies find it easier to create backlash because they don’t have to face you directly in person. It is easier for them to hide behind a screen like a coward. In the long term, it is achievable to learn tips and coping mechanisms so these horrible people don’t affect your mental health. Your opinion is the only one that matters, so don’t let someone tell you differently!
What is a Cyberbully?
For the purpose of this blog and the tips I am planning on sharing with you, I would like us all to have the same definition in mind when it comes to cyberbullying. StopBullying.gov states that “Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.” Bullying can now follow you anywhere that you have access to the internet, this is why it’s important to embrace these tips for the rest of your life.
5 Tips to Cope With a Cyberbully
It is important to remember that cyberbullies are usually a victim of some sort of bullying as well. These individuals already feel small and abused so they want to make others feel that way. It isn’t personal!
- Don’t Retaliate
- In the heat of the moment when someone targets you online the first thing you might want to do is jump right back at their throat. It is important to ignore the comment they made and delete it if possible. In doing so the cyberbully is getting nothing out of his negative intent and will most likely move on to someone that will get a rise out of his or her comment.
- Don’t Take it Personally
- Advanced technology doesn’t have to make us victims. When someone comes at you online it is important to remember that it isn’t personal. The cyberbully is consumed with anger and only wants to expand his or her negative energy elsewhere. Rude comments should be ignored, deleted, and forgotten about.
- Switch to a Private Account
- To avoid cyberbullying as much as possible, it’s important to have a private account. On top of having a private account, it is important to only accept friend requests of people you know and feel comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with having a public account, but there is no censorship on what others can say or comment. The best way to avoid cyberbullies is to follow this tip.
- Report Any Negative Comments
- Overall social media pages have been very proactive about dealing with cyberbullies. On most platforms you can report a comment for bullying and the comment will be taken down by the administrators of the whole network. In doing so the cyberbully is being told that their criticism and negative backlash won’t stand.
- Take a Technology Break
- In a world full of high-speed technology and social media, it is important to give yourself a break from time to time. 30 years ago cyberbullies didn’t even exist! Unplugging from social media for a night or a couple of days will give you a chance to breathe and clear your head in a more peaceful setting.
Cyberbullying can, unfortunately, lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It is important to proactively react to cyberbullies by following the tips above. Seeking help from a professional can also be extremely beneficial to your mental health. It costs $0.00 to be a nice person. Being a bully costs you your time, effort, and energy. Make the right decision and be an upstanding citizen. If you are a target of cyberbullying you can use this hotline, 800-273-8255, to get immediate help.
Don’t forget to check out my most recent blog post on staying happy and healthy!