Survival guide to Cyber bullying

cyberbullying

In earlier years, bullying was an occurrence in schools and other social physical spaces only, but that seem to have changed now.

There seem to have emerged a new virtual platform where people meet somewhere in space at malls like “Facebook” and “twitter”. Completely shifting the game while granting power into the hands of bullies, lifting geographical barriers to creating the so called cyberspace which we refer to as the global village, all made possible by technology evolution.

For purposes of synchronicity, we shall define Cyber-bullying as “Use of digital-communication tools and devices such as the Internet and cell phones to aggravate negative emotions of targeted fellow internet users.”

Emotions targeted range from but do not limit to anger, sadness, fear, shame which are shared as offensive, humiliating, threatening, harassing or sometimes abusive, usually in the form of text, email, Snap chat, Facebook comment or status, Tweets, Whats App, instant messaging or even online games. Majorly this is because there is no policing and supervision in this the cyberspace, or lack of self responsibility.

With the recent political emotional euphorias, Cyber-bullying has become such a common occurrence in our day to day lives, so common that it would be difficult to miss a day without one on any of the above mentioned platforms.

Effects and causes can be diver-stating and sometimes remain with the victims all through their lives.

Some causes and effects of Cyber bullying to mention but a few are, missing or skipping of school or even drop out of school, for the younger generation and missing of functions, events and meetings accompanied by low self-esteem, for the older generation.

Cyber-bullying effects can lead to contemplation of suicide which sometimes persisting into adulthood if not managed in-time, more of these could be

  • Stigmatization

  • A death threat

  • Numerous bogus messages posted in the names of people being targeted

  • Numerous threats of violence

  • Attempted suicide due to abuse

  • Depression and fear to go out due to threats

  • Withdrawal from social interest.

How to deal with Cyber bullying,

Below are 19 quick pointers to assist you when dealing with cyber-bullying however I wish to state that no single pointer is a magic bullet to this and might need a combination of solutions to address the problem at hand effectively.

  1. Consider the “toddler technique”, Have you ever imagined the times a child falls and checks for approval to react, and if not given that affirmative go ahead they get up and move on, but if granted to them they capitalize and maximize, blowing the situation out of proportion.

  1. Employ “We do not negotiate with terrorists” government and state kind of methodology of dealing with terrorists. Here, attention is intentionally deprived to starve the situation rather than negotiate and feed or aggravate it.

  2. Privacy is prevention. Limit the amount of private information shared out with the public i.e your location, email addressees, phone numbers and similar kind of details.

  3. Check out your friend requests before accepting them as your friends.

  4. For those who reach out and harass you through private messaging, expose them.

  1. You can delete your account depending on the type and scale of bullying just to stay out of public lime light, that “submarine” strategy..

  1. Involve the police if you feel nothing is being done to stop this bullying, get some legal advice if you feel this is appropriate as Cyber bullying is can be punishable if proven sufficiently. At times, they turn into solicitors demanding ransoms making the legal way best approach.

  2. Post your story on support groups or forums that assist as well as tags that capture similar occurrences, say for example #nobullying where you can post your case, remember some of this flourish because they go unreported.

  3. If the Cyber bullying is done by work colleagues, involve your HR Department so they are aware of what is going on, keep the screenshots. Ask them to put this on your personnel file.

  1. You have the option of blocking the people that are Cyber bullying you but this obviously doesn’t stop it from continuing. However, if it saves you from having to see the abuse and improves your emotional well being it is definitely worth considering.

  2. Remember cyberbullies come looking for action at your doorstep and not finding it can make it boring for them.

  3. Most of the time don’t let it bother you much, ignore it, sometimes they don’t really mean what it seem to be.

  4. Be the bigger person and let the bullies have a field day, a lot of times the foolishness in them gets exposed in their struggle to expose yours.

  5. When you react negatively to it, you affirm of some level of truth in the comment, remember, you are the only person who gives those negative comments their true meaning.

  6. Convince yourself you are leaving it as a memorial statue for a later date just to remind you of your life journey and marvel at how you rose above it.

  7. Connect with the quote “Do not argue with a fool, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience” you don’t have to respond back to all the fools you come across.

  8. Choose your battles wisely, don’t let your battles choose you rather.

  9. Think of better things in life, those that are way better that a mean missiled comment.

  10. Check out websites that speak and give more information on this, example https://www.ipredator.co/ and https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cyberbullying

Sometimes it seem like the most convenient thing to do is respond back, however this just gives control back to the bully, granting them an opportunity to come back stronger, or to twist the whole story in their favor, if they happen to be psychic, you stand no chance of outsmarting them, unless you are two are of a similar kind.

Our role in all this.

Take a minute and confirm authenticity of messages before forwarding or sharing, it all begins with us. Our action play a big role in spreading malice or just keeping the malice going.

When you are faced with negativity, think of it as thou the bully is literally looking to up to you to guide them on how to react.

More than 50% of negativity can be dealt with by ignoring, remember from childhood how frustrating it used to get when not given the attention you were looking for? Take them down that road.

On the other hand focusing on it gives more meaning to the comments

Purpose to misinterpret it completely. i.e, when a comment goes like “We have seen many like you who started on a high and grew tired” Perceive the statement as one spoken by a looser, always counting success in others without and hating.

cyberbullying-bullying-michael-nuccitelli-psy.d.-ipredator-inc.-new-york-ipredator-9

Always remember:

Don’t blame yourself. The blame is not on you, it not your fault, the worst justice you can grant yourself is claim a burden dropped at your doorstep by someone out to frustrate or annoy you and you literally take it upon yourself to claim responsibility for the dropper.

Give it a different perspective. He probably is one unhappy, frustrated person who wants to gain control of your feelings, or should I say hijack your feelings and manipulate you as his/her puppet. Don’t grant them this satisfaction.

Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make the incident worse by dwelling on it or reading the message over and over. Instead, delete (If no evidence is required) and focus on a positive out of the whole situation. Tell yourself you are glad to finally know the kind of a person they are, that is if they are not anonymous, if they are, understand that people shoot down only what they admire but can’t attain and probably feel jealous about you having that which they can’t have.

Get help. Talk to an authority, counselor or other trusted individuals, arrest it before it gets into or arrests you.

Learn to deal with stress. Finding ways of dealing with the stress caused can make you more resilient so you won’t feel overwhelmed by cyber-bullying. Exercise, positive self-talk and breathing exercises are all good ways to manage the stress.

Spend time doing things you enjoy. More time on activities that bring you pleasure and delight; sports, hobbies and hanging out with friends who lift your energy are an example such will generate good thoughts in mind making the incident less significance in your mind by the minute.

As my norm, I leave you with the below quotes to stir up your thoughts around this subject matter.

  1. A road rage episode is the fastest way to discharge your energies, it immediately connects you to your lowest esteem by inviting you to the table of regret and serving you humble pie the whole day
  2. Don t argue with a fool, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience
  3. Everyone gets bullied at one time or another, don’t take it that personally or should I say its never that serious to demand your response.
  4. Be wise when using the internet!

And for the cyberbullies reading this, remember there is nothing cool about cyber-bullying so try something cooler like focusing your energies on world problems and giving them a cool solution.

Frank

Frank Odhiambo

Mind Grid Perspectives

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One thought on “Survival guide to Cyber bullying

  1. This article reminds me of “unfriend” the movie,which is really good by the way.It shows us that you cannot bully just anyone in cyberspace.Thanks Frank,it’s a good read.

    Like

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