Have you ever been bullied or intimidated online? Have you noticed someone persistently making embarrassing comments on your posts? Or, do you get threatening messages on your social profiles? If so, then unfortunately, you are a victim of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a raging phenomenon not only in the US but many other countries across the globe. It is a plague that has somehow infiltrated our society and started feeding off our loved one’s personality, behavior, their future and even their life.
If you have experienced cyberbullying at any point in your life, it is imperative that you take immediate steps to rid your life of this menace once and for all.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is no less frightening than the traditional form of bullying. Cyberbullying is when a bully takes his antics to social media networks, online gaming portals, SMS, forums, communities, and such.
A cyberbully may take different routes to torment the life of their victim. They may send threatening messages to the victims, share explicit photos online, and make negative or false comments or accusations against the victims, to name a few. In fact, the New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services states that a cyberbully may:
- Intentionally exclude a victim from a friend’s group, buddy list, community, etc.
- Falsely pretend to be the victim to post hateful messages against the victim’s friends on social media profiles, groups or blogs.
- Send messages to victims that are threatening in nature
- Befriend the victim only to gain their trust and then attack when the victim is vulnerable
- Reveal the victim’s confidential or private emails or text messages
Truth be told, many cyberbullies often take these practices to the next level, which usually falls under unlawful and criminal activities.
Some Cyberbullying Statistics
Did you know that throughout the academic year, 1 in 2 students experience some form of cyberbullying?
Needless to mention, females are twice at risk of falling victim to cyber stalking than their male counterparts. That being said, the worst problem is that only 10% of the victims usually come forward to report the crime, while others remain quiet because of various reasons.
If nothing is done to curb this menace, it can leave a permanent scar on your life.
Terrible Effects of Cyberbullying
If you are continuously being bullied online, you would feel depressed, won’t feel like going to your school or college and might get behind yon our studies and end up ruining your academic life.
Truth be told, these are only the minor consequences of getting continuously teased online. The problem often gets escalated to a level where the victim starts having suicidal thoughts. In fact, there are real-life cases where victims have taken their life only because of cyberbullying.
Some extreme cases that have surfaced shook the national and international media. Some, on the other hand, never make it to the public eye because the family of the victim want to keep it to themselves and grieve behind closed doors.
Remember that cyberbullying is a far-reaching menace and it is something from which not even celebrities are safe. Take, for instance, Daisy Ridley from the recent Star Wars movies. Only a single anti-gun violence post made her a target of cyberbullying and compelled her to quit Instagram.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Cyberbullying
You have to step up and help yourself out in order to end cyberbullying. Here are some tips that can help you drag cyberbullying out of your life for good:
- Remember that you are not alone. You have your parents, siblings, friends and other relatives always at your side. So, don’t be afraid to let your loved ones know what you are going through.
- If you are getting teasing messages or comments from the bully and they are trivial, then it is better to ignore than respond. Oftentimes, the bully starts off with such messages to seek attention of the victim and when they get successful, they take things to the next level.
- Always be wary of your online privacy. Make sure that you tweak the necessary privacy settings on all your social accounts. Also, keep in mind that it is best to set the privacy settings to private when it comes to sharing personal data such as birth date, email address, contact number, sensitive images, etc.
- You should not share your personal information or any sensitive data online.If you keep sharing such information on the Internet, you would be putting yourself at serious risks like cyberbullying, cyber stalking and other cyber threats.
- Never hesitate to consult the matter with not only friends and family but also the concerned authorities. Those authorities include college or university administrator and the cyber crime unit.
- Never permanently remove or delete any messages that you receive from an online bully or harasser, no matter how unpleasant or disgusting they may seem. You can use these messages as evidence against the bully and submit it to the concerned authorities. The evidence will help the authorities with their investigation.
If you are going through any form of emotional anxiety due to some individual online, you are experiencing cyberbullying. It should not be taken lightly. Therefore, make your stand against cyberbullying and start taking immediate measures to stop it for good.