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How to Stop Cyberbullying: 7 Step Strategy

How to Stop Cyberbullying?

Bullying has evolved.

Gone are the days of after-school fights and shakedowns to make some extra cash.

With the rise of the internet, bullying has shifted from a petty playground fight to a mountain of offensive content pumped out online with one aim. Damaging the reputation of the victim.

There’s no ‘take-back or erase button.’

Sure, you can delete a post.

You can clean up your social media posts.

But can you erase hurt feelings?

You can’t fix the broken relationships or change the misformed perception people now have of the person whose life has been destroyed by careless words.

In this post, we will discuss: What Cyberbullying is and How to stop cyberbullying.

What exactly is cyberbullying?

What is cyberbullying?

Well, it’s bullying with an online element.

Let’s explore cyberbullying to help us understand what it is and how to stop cyberbullying.

Kid using a cellphone to bully other children - Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Kid using a cellphone to bully other children – Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/boy-taking-photo-of-his-classmate-6936079/

Instead of after-school fights and face-to-face bullying. It’s a barrage of emotional abuse, 24/7, online for everyone to see. Cyberbullying involves:

  • Mean messages.
  • Offensive comments.
  • Threatening messages of physical harm or physical violence via text messages.
  • Personal photos and embarrassing information were leaked.
  • Embarrassing photos are shared on Social Media sites.
  • Name-calling and slandering other students on social media apps.

Children’s Perspective

Now, this may not seem so bad, but from a child’s perspective, it’s horrible. To them:

  • Children who have experienced cyberbullying can even have thoughts of self-harm or attempt suicide.
  • Life-threatening messages on gaming platforms can lead to feelings of immediate danger.
  • Child’s losing sleep every night with negative feelings and emotions.
  • All of which can leave them feeling like their self-respect has been degraded.

Cyber bullying a severe issue. NO ONE has to endure the pain of being tormented online by people who could have been their friends.

It’s a BIG problem: Young People and Bullying online

According to enough.org, nearly half of young people were affected by cyberbullying.

Impact on a young person being bullied – Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/multiethnic-male-students-gossiping-about-sad-crying-woman-6147132/

A 2018 Google survey said recent Google survey found cyberbullying is the most significant safety issue for students.

Parents must understand how their kids interact online and through smartphones.

Think about security solutions that will help protect children on the Internet.

Many men believe that boys will always be aggressors, with girls being likely the victim. That’s simply not the case.

  • Boys and girls get bullied online.
  • And Boys and girls bully online.

How to stop cyberbullying? 7 Practical steps

Step 1: Tell someone

One of the most devastating effects of bullying is isolation.

No one likes telling others they’re being picked on.

But believe me, you need to tell SOMEONE. Really, just tell anyone you trust…

A person pushing a “Help Me” button – Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-pushing-a-control-button-7662853/

Most often, people who are cyberbullied keep what’s happening to themselves. Choosing to suffer in silence.

CyberCitizenship.org

Why, because we think telling our friends and other adults will make things worse.

One report by the U.S Department of Education revealed that 54% of bullied students didn’t tell it to an adult at their school.

Shocking, right? Most young people have probably experienced cyberbullying but didn’t tell anyone because of the fear of shame and embarrassment.

However, it is crucial that everyone, especially kids, should know that telling someone is an important action in fighting against bullying.

Gathering confidence can be difficult during this time, but you must understand that bullying can worsen if you keep it from others.

Also, remember that you can always choose the person you’ll talk to.

  • Parents are best in this situation, but any trusted adult is a good choice. They’ve been where you are.
  • You can also talk to your friends, teachers, or even a counselor. There’s nothing wrong with telling others.
  • The next thing you should do is to be honest. Talk about the specific details that happened so that the person can help you to stand up for yourself. Do not be afraid.

Just remember. It’s going to feel weird the first couple of times you talk about cyber bullying. But with time, you’ll get comfortable talking about what happened.

Step one on how to stop cyberbullying?

Talk about cyberbullying open-heartedly once you’re ready.

CyberCitizenship.org

Step 2: Don’t engage

Another solution that you can do to prevent bullying is to not engage with the bullies.

Yep, ignore them. It works.

Don't engage with bullies- Photo by Keira Burton:
Don’t engage with bullies – Photo by Keira Burton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-of-students-gossiping-and-laughing-near-black-man-6147273/

You don’t HAVE to take part in their text messages or respond to their mean behavior.

Always remember that their words and posts don’t reflect the reality of yourself and your life.

CyberCitizenship.org

Ignoring them is the best way to steal their power.

According to the data shown by Cyberbullying Research Center, the most effective response for teens to stop cyberbullying is to block the person doing it.

Social media makes it much easier for users to ignore bullies by blocking their accounts or simply neglecting them.

Messaging apps on an android phone - Photo by Alok Sharma
Messaging apps on an android phone – Photo by Alok Sharma: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-android-smartphone-177707/

If you’re being bullied through a post, or messaging platform, you should:

  • Stop engaging and don’t reply.
  • Gather evidence by taking screenshots.
  • Report the Post to the platform.
  • Untag yourself.
  • And Go do something else you love. This will help you to stop thinking about it.

Step 3: Keep records of everything.

Every cyberbullying case should be reported to the authorities, but it is impossible to do if you don’t have a single piece of evidence.

Keeping records of everything can be a strong advantage if you encounter cyberbullying. These records will significantly justify your claim of experiencing cyberbullying and report the people behind it.

There’s no difficulty in collecting and gathering evidence with digital technology. You can take captures or screenshots of the posts, forward harmful messages to a document, and save them. But this doesn’t mean you need to keep seeing them. You can file them in a folder or save them to a drive. Moreover, it’s best to print out your evidence just in case something happens to your device.

Evidence Folder - Photo by cottonbro
Evidence Folder – Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-person-holding-files-8371713/

Step 4: Recognize the signs

Fighting cyberbullying will be much more difficult if you don’t know who’s experiencing it.

As adults, it is your great responsibility to recognize the signs of bullying to prevent further damage. Being silent observers will significantly aid in knowing who’s experiencing cyberbullying and help them handle the situation.

Sad kid being bullied
Impact of cyberbullying – Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/boy-sitting-on-his-desk-looking-lonely-6936460/

As for parents, it is your essential role to constantly check your children’s behavior and aggression towards their interaction with digital technology. You may look for signs of cyberbullying like loss of interest in favorite activities, skipped classes, symptoms of depression, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and more.

Aside from multiple indicators, it is also essential to monitor how they deal with digital technology. Significant changes in interest and aggression towards digital devices and the internet can be a severe sign of cyberbullying. Always observe!

Step 5: Hold bullies accountable

Report cyberbullying.

The best way to eliminate cyberbullying is to hold the persons behind it accountable.

Child holding paper with the words Stop Bullying written on it – Photo by RODNAE Productions

You can report cyber bullying behavior to:

  • The School authorities (Most schools commonly have school administrators or the school administration)
  • Social Media companies and their social media sites.
  • Server admins in the games your children play.

If you have the confidence to speak up for yourself, it is best to point out the inappropriate action of the bully towards you.

Try to explain how their actions are impacting you negatively.

Sometimes, bullies just don’t know any better. It’s a broken world out there.

You can directly message the person behind it to see if you can show them the impact of their actions.

However, it’s not a must. If you can’t, then that’s fine.

Just remember to reach out to people who can help.

Step 6: Understand the scope

One of the reasons why cyberbullying is so prevalent during this time is that most people underestimate just how dangerous cyberbullying can be.

A 2018 Pew Research Study showed that 59% of U.S teens had experienced bullying or online harassment. This data should be alarming, given the relation of the youths today to the digital world. Furthermore, the statistics shown by Comparitech regarding cyberbullying from 2018 to the present demonstrate how dangerous the digital world can be today.

Once we understand the scope of cyberbullying, we’re on the right track to figuring out how to stop cyberbullying. You must know that every place on the internet is prone to potential threats that may attack every user close to it. As people always say, “Prevention is better than cure.”

Step 7: Stand Together

No one can defeat cyberbullying alone. But we can beat it together.

Do you want to know how to stop cyberbullying? We need to stand together and fight cyber bullying together, rallying around the same goal.

To build a better and safer digital world.

Children taking a stand against bullying – Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-kids-standing-by-the-white-board-6936390/

Different countries all around the world have committed their attention to addressing cyberbullying. There are several laws and bills around the world that secures the safety of internet users. In the United States, state laws guide the American people to create a clean and safe digital interaction.

Advice to the People involved

Cyberbullying will never be okay.

To anyone who has ever been bullied online: Don’t be afraid.

●      Know that it’s not your fault. The responsibility of bullying will always land on the side of those who see themselves as predators and continuously oppress someone. It will never be your fault to be a victim.

●      You are not alone. The effects of cyberbullying may be harsh, but keep in mind that you’re not alone in this fight. It would help if you did not carry the burden of online brutality on yourself; opening up with a trustworthy person will surely help you fight against it.

●      Be strong. The most crucial effect of cyberbullying is not losing yourself. Gather your strength, stay happy and keep a positive attitude. Don’t let one comment ruin your day, you’re better than that.

Positive and Happy Person - Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Stay Positive and Happy – Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-blazer-holding-tablet-computer-789822/

To the bullies in the digital world: Change for the better.

●      Reflect on your mistakes. Bullying is an act of violence and humiliation. It’s wrong. You don’t want to be “that” person. If you’ve ever bullied someone, it’s ok. Just remember to choose kindness next time.

●      Redirect your path. Change is an important phase of life; it allows us to be better people. Start redirecting your path by stopping the things you’ve done and begin helping people who suffer from the same situation. That’s going to make a real difference!

Person think on a bench in a park
Think about the impact your actions have on others – Photo by Chinmay Singh from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-hoodie-sitting-on-bench-near-green-trees-819635/

Always Remember:

Always remember that we’re here for you. We’re all facing cyberbullying with the same goal, to build a better and safer online world.

Need more help on how to stop cyberbullying?

What Parents need to know about cyberbullying

●      Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying by ConnectSafely

●      Cyberbullying: What Parents Need to Know by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

●      Parents Can Prevent Cyberbullying by National PTA

What Children need to know about cyberbullying

●      What Kids Can Do by Stop Bullying

●      Cyberbullying: what is it and how to avoid it by Raising Children

What Teens need to know about cyberbullying

●      Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it by Unicef

●      Cyberbullying and teenagers by ReachOut Parents

●      Cyberbullying (For Teens) by KidsHealth

Let’s Get Started

Ready To Make a Real Change? Let’s Make The Internet Safe Together!

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