Cyberbullying and Facebook
There’s no question that social media can be useful for us. It allows us to keep in contact with people we love, or people that we seldom see. It’s also been used as a positive force for change. Activists during the Arab Spring used social media to rally their supporters and shine a light on what was happening.
Social media is highly effective at showcasing issues and helping to change people’s attitudes. By making us more connected with people from all over the globe, it gives us the opportunity to learn more. You can get to know someone who lives halfway across the globe. And, like travel, this opportunity should broaden the mind.
The Downside of Interconnectivity
It’ not all sunshine and roses, though. It’s also a great place for the now notorious cyberbully. The relative anonymity of the platform makes it easier to bully someone. There’s also the added advantage of not having to face the person that you’re bullying in person.
Namely, 80% of teenagers say that it’s easier to get away with bullying someone online. Also, 87% of cyberbullying that was directed at teenagers occurred on this channel.
It’s no wonder that 68% of teenagers feel that cyberbullying is a serious issue. It’s also something that is not necessarily easily shrugged off. Around about a third of trolling or bullying incidents carry on for at least thirty days.
It’s Not Just Teens that are Victims
While we think of bullying as being something that happens mainly in schools, social media has changed this completely. Anyone who feels bored, takes offense at something said, or who is just mean-spirited can take a swipe at anyone else.
We’ve experienced some instances where we’ve made a comment on a post, only to be mercilessly trolled. It’s upsetting because the trolls are just being plain nasty. Intellectually, you know that what they’re saying is false, but emotionally, it’s harder to just write off this behavior.
How to Deal with Cyberbullying
The first thing to do if you are a victim of such an attack is to distance yourself from the situation. Your best response is to ignore it completely. These bullies like the feeling of power that they get knowing that they’re upsetting you.
It’s pointless trying to defend yourself because you are not dealing with a rational human being. Rather block the person and report the matter to Facebook. They can take steps to have the posts removed and the bully’s account closed.
There are also legal avenues that can be explored. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not actually allowed to say anything that you like online. If someone is found guilty of spreading fake news, or spreading what amounts to hate speech or liable, they can be sued.
If the bullying carries on regardless, it’s best just to stay off the site for a while. These people get bored easily so if you’re not reacting, they’re bound to go and look for a better target. If you’re a victim, stay strong and do your best not to take what is said to heart.
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