Technology presented us with easy ways of communication. From emails, to instant text messaging, and even social media platforms. Now, people can openly state their opinions and share them with the world without any restriction. This is thanks to the universal human right to freedom of speech and expression. With this kind of freedom, anyone, including bullies, can easily attack their victims with hostile content that often leads to emotional and mental distress. Even if the abuse is not physical, cyberbullying is just as wrong and harmful. Here are five ways of dealing with cyberbullying.
Do not engage
When you notice someone constantly harassing you online, do not in any way engage. Most cyberbullies are people with too much time on their hand. They therefore provoke unnecessary arguments with strangers in order to keep their idle minds occupied. Some are simply narcissists that cannot accept opinions different from theirs, and will thus attack anyone that tries to refute them. Whatever their reasons, do not engage with cyberbullies. Especially not at the heat of things. When you starve them of your attention, most will disappear and move on. In case one remains persistent, make sure you only engage them after taking enough time to calm down and align all your thoughts. Even then, do not engage them longer than is necessary.
Adjust your privacy settings and limit your audience
If you constantly share personal or unpopular opinions, you may try to limit your audience to just friends and followers. That way, you can control who sees your online activity. Making your posts, open to the general public is one way to attract cyberbullies who in real sense have no business reacting to your posts. However, since they are open to the public, there is no restraint to who can or should engage with you. Having your audience limited to friends allows you to surround yourself with people with similar views. This is the point to watch the content you share online. Avoid being too personal, and make sure you are not a bully either.
Unfriend, delete, report and block
In the case that a follower or friend is the cyberbully, social media platforms have tools to help you deal with this. For starters, you can delete a comment you find harmful to prevent any form of engagement. If they persist, you can unfriend or unfollow them so that they are no longer privy to your posts. When the individual(s) continue to bother and harass you even after unfriending them, then you can report and block them to your service providers. Make sure you keep screenshots and copies of their comments, emails, texts, and anything else they send you, in case you need to report them to the police.
Find help and support, and keep on
Cyberbullying can cause a lot of mental and emotional trauma. When you notice you are a victim of it, do not try to deal with it by yourself. Make sure you reach out and seek help from a friend or family member. Let them know your experience and let them help you navigate through it. As they give you support, try and focus on the positive as well. Do not give up your blogging, vlogging, or any other online dream. Keep at your good work and let your persistence bear fruits of success.