Monday, 6 April 2015

Cyber Bullying

In today’s day and age, where internet access is readily available, cyber bullying has become a part of most people’s lives. From young kids to adults, no one is immune to being bullied on line, whether it’s on Facebook or twitter.  Sometimes it gets so bad that people take their own lives and there is no repercussion for the ones who have caused this tragedy.

What is Cyber Bullying?

If you haven’t experienced cyber bullying, it is basically any form of bullying that takes place on the internet. Whether it’s on Facebook, twitter, tumblr, on your blog or on any instant messaging platform. Most cyber bullying is caused by people who used to be your friends on line. It can range from threats, rumors, gossips and abusive comments to nasty pictures of you being spread on line.

Effects of Cyber Bullying

Many children don’t want to or don’t know how to talk to adults regarding being cyber bullied, because many times parents don’t want to believe that their kids are being bullied. This then causes distrust between parents and children.

This in turn causes the children to stress and worry about what will happen next without having anyone to stand up for them and protect them.

Even as adults, when bullied, we stress about it and sometimes have no one to turn to , as the misconception is that adults should not be experiencing being bullied. But unfortunately adults do get bullied. Bloggers are very much bullied every day. By nasty comments and tweets and it can affect you self-worth.

When people being bullied have no one to turn to, what are the only options left? Suicide and self-harm. You can read my post on self-harm here...  Self-harm can be anything from cutting themselves to restricting their eating when told they are fat. In extreme cases when people have no one to turn to they think that taking their own lives are the only option. Suicide is not only an option for adults but more and more children are thinking about suicide. 

Signs that someone you know might be experiencing cyber bullying:

*Change in personality
*Low self esteem
*Being withdrawn form usual activities that used to give them joy
*Wearing long sleeve tops in the heat. (could be a sign of self-harm)

What can you do to help?

*Listen and acknowledge when someone confides in you.
*Make sure they know they can turn to you.
*Report all abuse and take screenshots as proof for the police.
*Praise the person being bullied. Let them know that they are important and worth your time.

Support and Helplines

There are many websites that can help when you have no one to turn to. There are also numbers you can call.

South Africa – 011 355 0000

UK – 0845 22 55 787

Ireland – 1800 66 66 66

USA – 1800 420 1479

Australia – 1800 55 1800

New Zealand – 0800 942 8787 / 0800 376 633

I personally have never but I know sometimes it inevitable. But just know there is help and there will always be someone here for you. Have you ever experienced cyber bullying?

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