What should I do if I am being cyberbullied?
If you are a victim of cyberbullying, there are some rules which will prevent the situation from becoming worse and hopefully make it far better:
- Ignore the bullies. The more you react, the fiercer their bullying becomes. Trying to defend yourself or doing the same to them is like pouring oil into the flames. This is exactly what they want from you so they can entertain themselves seeing your reaction. Having little to no reaction will likely disappoint them and potentially make them stop.
- Use the different settings of your various social networks to limit their ability to interact with you online. If someone is bullying you on social media, don’t be afraid to block them. Sometimes that is enough to end the bullying.
- Talk to your parents. While there may be situations where their involvement would not be ideal, in general they will usually be able to make the situation better, and their support will be help you a lot.
- Try to report to the website administration. If some sort of online group has been formed in order to bully, you can likely report the group to the administrator of the website. If the bullying is being done by an individual person, you can also report that person’s personal account. Be aware that the report to administration is not a cure and it won’t instantly solve your problem since the report will need to be reviewed.
Besides all that, we also recommend reading this blog post to help you to cope with the situation.
Cyberbullies do not need a reason; their very aim is to bully others, so the reason might be any. You can be the best or the worst student in the class, communicable or withdrawn, good-looking or of ordinary appearance, overweight or slim, an outsider or the life and soul of the gang. There may always be people who envy you or dislike you for some reason, which makes them prone to express their aggression, both in real and virtual life. Don’t think you were ‘chosen’ because you are bad or wrong. Those who bully you are wrong. However, there are models of behavior which can make you an easier target for cyberbullies.
How do I get back at the cyberbullies?
This is the question many cyberbullying victims ask. If you also ask this question, that means you are hurt and you think it’s unfair to leave them unpunished. But the correct answer is: don’t seek revenge. It could likely provoke the bullies further, and it creates a situation where you are sinking to their level.
But that doesn’t mean the aggression should remain unnoticed. Try to contact the administration of the resource which is used to bully you. If you are able to prove you are being systematically cyberbullied, the administration might block the bullies’ accounts, which alone might serve a good lesson for them. If the bullies are from your school, talk to your teachers: the bullies also have parents, and for the majority of teens a hard conversation with parents following a meeting with the school’s principal might result in a severe punishment.