Avoiding Cyberbullying and Becoming an Upstander!
What is Cyberbullying?
Here are the basics:
Cyberbullying is never okay. Cyberbullying is intentional harassment that takes place using electronic technology, specifically, the internet and other digital communication devices like text message. Cyberbullying can be mean comments, text messages, photos or other forms of communication that intentionally hurts someone else. It is any behavior whether repeated or isolated that causes pervasive negative consequences for the target.
Who is Involved in a Cyberbullying Situation?
Offender: Ther person who if inflicting the hurtful behavior onto the target.
Bystander: The person who sees or is aware of teh situation but does nothing to help
Upstander: The courageous person who either stands up for the target or says something to neutralize the situation
Check out this video about cyberbullying, what it is, and how you can being an Upstander:
Know the Difference!
Drama and conflict are very distinct from cyberbullying. It is easy to confuse cyberbullying as drama or conflict that happens on social media. However, this is often not the case. It is important for you to be aware of these differences. It is important to be informed of what is going on, especially if it affect you.
Drama & Conflict:
- Drama involved consent: All parties are knowingly and willingly involved
- Conflict also involved consent: Anyone involved in a conflict is generally informed about the conflict and why it is happening.
- There is no level of consent involved in cyberbullying. One person did not ask for or welcome the hurtful behavior.
- Cyberbullying is never okay!
Definition: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
Definition: Permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something with full knowledge and awareness of any and all possible outcomes and consequences
Are your cyber interactions consensual...?
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
What Should you Do if You're Experiencing Cyberbullying?
- Try your best to not let the comments hurt you. Try to ignore them
- Remember that you have a right to not feel harassed - you have not consented to that kind of interaction
- Take a screenshot of it in case you need it later
- Do not engage with the offender
- You can always tell an adult you trust
What Should You Do if You Witness Cyberbullying?
- Speak up!
- Be an Upstander!
- Talk to and be there for the person being targeted
- Never engage with the offender in the same way - instead, speak with them in private to try and show them that what they are doing is wrong, maybe they don't notice it
- Being and Upstander is also being courageous and never just sitting back while others suffer from cyberbullying
What Should You Do if You Realize You're Bullying?
- Stop and take responsibility for your actions - It only gets worse if you don't
- Sincerely apologize to the person you have targeted
- Make amends with the person
- Become an Upstander if you see cyberbullying happening
- Move on