Are You Bullied?
Are YOU The Bully?
It isn't easy to let harassment roll off your shoulders when everywhere you turn you feel your peers are talking about you. Bullying online is far different then the kind of bullying your parents faced when they were your age. Like your peers, you want to be online, you want to text message, you want to follow the social exchanges that go on in school, sports, and other activities. However, sometimes, following online can open students up to bullying from their peers. What can you do?
Here are some strategies to use if you or a friend are cyberbullied:
Do not respond to cyberbullying- Sometimes people post or text comments to get a reaction. If someone has posted, texted or sent a teasing or name-calling message that could be hurtful to others, refuse to pass it along or respond to it.
Block the person who is cyberbullying you- Many websites and phone companies let you block people. Also, cyberbullying may violate the "Terms and Conditions" of these services. Consider contacting the service provider to file a complaint
Talk with someone you trust- Talking to someone could help you figure out the best ways to deal with the problem. Reach out to a teacher, family member, friend or another adult that you trust.
Keep evidence of cyberbullying- Record the dates, times and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screen shots, e-mails, and text messages.
Ask for help- Sometimes, talking to a counselor or health professional can help you get through the emotional effects of bullying.
You can prevent cyberbullying by being careful of what you do:
Always think about what you post or say. Do not share secrets, photos or anything that might be embarrassing to you or others. What seems funny or innocent at the time could be used against you. You do not have complete control over what others forward or post.
Do not pass on hurtful photos or messages.
Set privacy settings on your accounts. Make sure that you are only sharing information with people you know and trust. Pay attention to notices from social networks, because sometimes privacy settings change.
Check out these helpful links:
NetSmartz Tips for Tweens (pdf)
Stop Bullying Now!
That's Not Cool
Teens Against Bullying
Pacer Center's Teens Against Bullying