In recent years, bullying has expanded from occurring in-person to also taking place online. Between 2007 and 2016, the percentage of people who have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime nearly doubled from 16% to 34%. Bullying no longer occurs primarily in school, and it is more difficult to escape online.
This video from Common Sense Media has some important tips on how we can help youth recognize cyberbullying and learn how to handle it if it happens.
We’ve also broken down some of these tips below:
- Ignore the bully. Do not retaliate in any way; it only adds fuel to the fire. Besides, who wants to sink to that level?
- Block the bully. Add phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts to your block list. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all have easy ways to block and mute any user that is harassing you.
- Document the bully. Before blocking a bully or deleting unwanted comments and messages, be sure to print out physical copies of the harassment. (If you don’t have access to a printer, take screenshots on your phone or computer and save them in a special file.) Saving evidence is critical in case there is any need for proof in the future.
- Report the bully. Also before blocking the bully, be sure to report them for violating the community guidelines.
- Tell a trusted adult, like a parent/guardian or your Big. Bigs, be sure to connect with your Match Support Specialist if your Little reports cyberbullying (or any kind of bullying.)
- Another guideline to follow is to set social media profiles to private and/or friends only. This way, it’s generally easier to track and identify who is instigating the bullying. (Many bullies hide under anonymous or “puppet” accounts to avoid being identified.)
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