How to deal with Cyber Bullying

This topic has been making a lot of headlines in the news, lately.  The topic that I am referring to is cyber bullying.  I am sure that we have seen, heard or even know of someone who has been affected by this.  Unfortunately, this is a negative outcome that we are seeing more and more in today’s modern social media sites.  This is one issue that I felt needed to be addressed.  There have been numerous suicides, directly related to cyber bullying; it seems to be more common among teenagers and young adults.  A former coworker of mine, tragically lost her 15-year-old son; and in the county that they live in, there has been at least three other known suicides related to cyber bullying.  Hopefully, my insight in this matter will help bring some awareness and basic details on how to deal with this situation or where to go to get more assistance.

 

To start to understand how this happens, we need to look at all of parts of the puzzle.  For starters, the ease of use of the social media outlets makes it extremely easy to reach a large number of people, which was previously not possible.  This is a great tool in the transference of information when it is used to communicate important messages or advertise and promote products, people and events.  Prior to this type of media, it would have taken a lot more effort to reach the same number of people.  It would have also required the messenger to have likable and social characteristics, in order to be able to get their message across, efficiently.  The same ease and acceleration of transference can be use in a malicious manner.  Most of the social media sites have policies in regards to abusive or offensive behavior.  If this type of behavior is occurring, one of the first steps that should be taken is to notify the site administrators, of the behavior and the username of the person that is engaging in this type of demeanor.  Make copies of all the abusive behavior that has transpired and include them along with a formal complaint to the administrators.  Keep a set of copies for your own personal records and also to establish a timeline, which shows when these actions started.

 

If you are under age, it is crucial to notify an adult.  Inform your parents of the situation, immediately.  If you feel uncomfortable in notifying a parent or if a parent is not available, then notify a teacher, coach, counselor, school safety officer, pastor or other authoritative adult.  If the identity of the bully is known to you, let the concerning adult know. The adult should then communicate to the offender to refrain from the abusive behavior.  In the case that the offender is also a minor, then this communication should be made to the parents of such individual.  Refrain from engaging in a reciprocating manner on the Internet, as this will only encourage more aggressive conduct.  Avoid from having third parties such as friends, immerse in the same type of conduct.  A more appropriate response would be a signal of disapproval, stating the unacceptable manner in which the antagonizer is proceeding is not acceptable.  The next thing that you should do is immediately block this person so they can no longer access you directly.  Most of the social media websites have a “block” feature, which allows you to stop certain people from accessing your information or wall.

 

It is the intention of the tormentor to bring ridicule or embarrassment upon their victim.  A cyber bully is a person who has very low morals, dignity and self-worth.  It is one of the most cowardice acts imaginable and very despicable.  A human being that takes pleasure in creating pain, hurt and emotional distress on another person is sadistic.  The best defense to combat this type of person is to ignore and discredit their intentions, by not allowing them to affect you.  You need to reassure yourself worth and respect and not allow it to be questioned.  Do not allow your ego to be challenged or tested by mere words.  These intimidators prey upon the people that they sense are weak. If you exhibit a sense of confidence and assurance, it is more likely that you would not be singled out as a victim.  If you have been targeted by such a person, you must exhibit control over the situation.  Despite whatever might have been said or written about you, elevate your self above the petty ramblings of this individual.  If this person had any meaningful purpose in their life, they would not have the time or inclination to engage in such behavior.  Therefore, it is essential to maintain control and dignity above this individual and deny them the gratification of completing their intent.  Remember, that these words will only achieve their purpose, if you allowed them to.  The people who really know you and care for you will know that these are the mindless ploys of a fool. Your life is more meaningful than any thing that anybody can say about you.

 

If this is taking place on a social media site, immediately remove the offender from your circle of friends.  As I mentioned previously, notify an adult or authoritative figure, about the matter that is occurring.  Be very cautious with the type of information you post to your profiles and social networks.  Take extreme caution posting any type of personal information even if it is on a restricted or private page. It is imperative to recognize the difference between disparaging remarks and threats.  In most states, making a threat using the Internet or other kinds of communication lines, constitute a misdemeanor crime.  If in fact, a threat has been issued, immediately notify local authorities and asked for a report to be made so an investigation can be started.  A threat can be defined as a declaration of intent to inflict punishment, injury or possibly death, and/or menace with retaliation.  A threat should be taken seriously and acted upon in the proper manner.  Threats can sometimes escalate quickly to acts of physical violence.

 

If the acts of bullying are occurring via e-mail, notify the e-mail provider and be guided by their suggestions.  If the action continues to recur it is advisable to change your e-mail address and only notify your friends and family of the change.  Keep the old e-mail address open and save all the tormenting e-mails for future records.  If the need shall arise one day, it will be used as evidence to bring resolve to the situation.  It may be your initial response to confront or go head-to-head with the tormentor, but this will be more aggravating and stressful to you.  By avoiding or deflecting the individual, you will send out a message that you are not susceptible to their infantile behavior.  Even though, most studies have shown that bullies themselves have been bullied in their lives, do not lower yourselves to their level.  It is necessary for you to elevate yourself to a matured parallel.  Always keep in mind all the blessings and goodness in your life!  The individual who is agitating you lacks all these qualities in their life and that is the reason why they harass others.  Life is such a precious commodity, that no one has the grandeur to manipulate it away from you.

 

I hope you find this information useful for yourself or other loved ones.  Please feel free to share this with anyone that you think may find this valuable.  The Internet could be fun, informative and exciting, but it should not pose a danger to anyone.  Be careful and I hope you enjoy reading this article.

2 Responses to How to deal with Cyber Bullying

  • Liz says:

    This is a great article. I’m going to pass this on to my sisters and some teachers I know. Thanks for sharing. I don’t know if you heard about the case in Lakeland, FL in 2008 where 8 teens severly beat a 16 yr old girl for comments made on MySapce. It made news because of the severity of the beating and because these kids videotaped it to post it on youtube and myspace. Here is a link to the police coverage on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd_JjsW0jig&feature=related

    • Gsal says:

      Hi Liz,
      this seems to be a growing problem. Hopefully, bringing awareness to people on how to avoid or properly deal with this, will prevent events like this from continuing to occur. Thanks for commenting and sharing with your circle of friends.

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German (Sal) & Milja Saldarriaga
Fort Mill, SC
sal@magicsecretsoflife.com

I am available for lectures, consulting, life coaching, motivational speaking, interviews and appearances.

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My Life Experience

  • Retired New York City police officer
  • coping with heart disease since 1996
  • had defibrillator/pacemaker implanted in Oct 2003
  • had Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted in September 2009
  • Received heart transplant September 2010.
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