What Is Cyber Bulling?
Cyber bulling or internet bullying happens when a person or group of people post hurtful, unfair or abusive comments about you or to you when you’re online.
Why Does Cyber Bullying Happen?
No one knows why a person decides to become a bully but it is ALWAYS wrong to target or deliberately hurt another person. There is never a valid excuse for it, even when people say ‘he or she deserved it’, bullying is never right. Cyber bullying has increased recently because people can hide their real identity without being exposed. This means that online, they can say things that they would not normally say in a face to face meeting. Online bullying is what cowards do because they hurt people while hiding behind their computer. To put it in simple words, there are a lot of nice people in the world using the internet. But there are also some not so nice people who also use the internet purely so they can take their anger out on others without being seen. You can and must protect yourself from these people.
Can Cyber Bullying Be Stopped?
Yes it is. All forms of bullying are wrong. But it’s very difficult to catch people who bully online because mostly they are invisible. They set up fake ID accounts and use their mobile phones to post unkind messages. Things are improving but the internet is still a dangerous place until new laws are brought in to make it safer for younger people. Again, there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself from unwanted attention from online bullies.
Because the internet is global, it means it’s very difficult for any authority to bring in laws that stop cyber bullying. You might live in th UK but your network reaches the entire world so you can never be sure who you are really talking to online unless you have met them in person. The internet has lots of advantages, it’s a great way to learn and meet people. But the internet also attracts people who you wouldn’t normally choose to be friends with if you knew who they really were. This means that YOU have to be extra careful while you are online.
Some cases have been successful through the police and courts , but sadly this is rare. Please do document every incident and screen shot if you can . These can be used as evidence if it become a police matter .
Yes! It already has and continues to hurt many young people who have come into contact with online bullies. Many young people have taken their own lives because cyber bullying has made them feel so bad about themselves. It’s very, very sad that a young person can be made to feel so helpless that they harm themselves. Laws are changing but they are not changing quickly enough so campaign groups, schools, police and parents are all trying to stop the online bullies and bring in change as fast as possible. But you also must help to protect yourself until new laws can stop online bullying forever.
Here are a few basic tips for staying safe online.
1. Take control of what you post online. If you are on any social media networking site, be aware that the whole world can see and share your photos and posts. You may think only your friends can see what you post but if your friends share your posts with their friends, your photos and posts can go much further than you realise.
2. Don’t post information about your address, where you live or any personal contact details. Save this privileged information for your real friends that you know and see in person.
3. Be very wary of signing up to social networking sites that have open pages. This is where there are no privacy filters so what you write and post can be seen by the public. It can also be copied and shared by the public. Some of these sites are based in countries like Latvia and other parts of Europe. They have not yet included strict privacy controls so whatever you post could be seen and shared all over the world. Always PROTECT the most important person first. YOU! If you don’t want the world to see it, don’t post it!!
4. Be very careful about posting close up photos of yourself online. Learn how to use a software tool like Picasa, which is free to download. (Google Picasa, it explains how to download). This will crop and resize your photos so that you can still share your fun times with your friends but post only a section of the photo perhaps just your eyes or part of your face. Your real friends will still recognize you but make yourself a mystery to the outside world. Remember that there are people out there on the internet that can access your photos and share them without your permission.
5. Be aware that you have little or no privacy on social networking sites. What you share with your friends can be shared all over the world regardless of how you set your privacy settings. Get savvy and smart about how much information you give online. You can always post privately or text your real friends if they need to know.
6. Don’t post a close photo on open social networking sites. It makes it much easier for you to be targeted by online bullies. Post a distance photo or a photo of a pet or favourite singer or band instead. Keep safe by not being too visible.
Stay off the internet. It may seem unfair and hard but if you can remove yourself just for a short while, the bullies will get bored and go and find someone else to pick on.
Or another option is to remove your profile and start a new one with a hidden ID. Use a photo of a pet or something that is symbolic to you. Don’t give too much information out online. Keep safe by being invisible at least till the bullies have gone.
Block or delete anyone who is posting hurtful comments about you or to you and DO report them. Don’t engage with them or fight back. It’s the fight that they want. Disappoint them by ignoring them. You don’t have to prove anything. There is strength in being silent.
Remember that bullies often attract other bullies and sometimes cyber bullying can be a group of people attacking another person. This is NEVER your fault. Don’t try to argue back or defend yourself. They really are not worth your time or effort. Just go invisible for a while. If they can’t see you, they can’t hurt you.
ALWAYS TELL someone if you are being bullied. Bullying is one of today’s worst crimes and it has devastating effects on children, teenagers and adults too. Talking helps because sharing your feelings and how it’s hurting really helps you to deal with the unfairness of being singled out by the bullies. Just being listened to can help you learn to deal with bullying.
No one can explain why bullies target another person but often it’s because they are angry, frustrated or jealous about something in their own lives. This is not your problem and it’s certainly not your fault, you haven’t done anything wrong. Don’t make yourself a target by standing up to them. They are not worth it. Be cautious about who you talk to online, who you include as a friend and be very careful about what you post.
To stay safe, think safe. Control what you post, be wary of joining social networking sites and don’t give out too much information online about yourself.
Written by Nina Nadine.
Freedom Support Solutions offer our clients a bespoke range of day support to adults with a learning disability and mental health problems. We provide activities that promote social inclusion for groups that have found themselves at times excluded. We are based in Market Harborough, close to the town centre. This has enabled us to provide a variety of support to our client’s accessing local community facilities. These include the Leisure Center, library, local shops, job center, allotment, volunteering and work experiences.
AJ Doyle Photography was established in January 2014 and is based near Lutterworth, Leicestershire. We cater for all kinds of events from Children’s Parties right through to Weddings. Being so close to three counties, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire it gives us a larger community to serve, also meaning travel is no issue.
HAB'S OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Our goal is to mentor, educate and inspire all children and young adults with the necessary life-long skills and courage to take action against becoming the victim of bullying in their schools, sporting clubs, workplaces and the broader community.
Angels Goal Mission
Angels Goal mission is to promote awareness of, and aid in the prevention of, bullying against children and young adults, where they may be.