The mil­len­nial’s guide to deal­ing with cy­ber­bul­ly­ing

Sun.Star Pampanga - - MILLENIALS! - BY ERIKA MARIEL B. GINES erika_gines@icloud .com

Iis es­pe­cially im­por­tant if the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing oc­curred on school grounds. But even if it hap­pened off school grounds, some schools al­low the au­thor­ity to in­ter­vene, es­pe­cially since the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing and other types of bul­ly­ing will in­fil­trate in­sti­tu­tion at some point. What’s more, even if the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing oc­curred off cam­pus, the stu­dents will likely still dis­cuss it at school.

4. Re­port cy­ber­bul­ly­ing to the so­cial me­dia sites and your ISP

When cy­ber­bul­ly­ing oc­curs on your per­sonal ac­counts or hap­pens at home, it’s im­por­tant that you for­ward copies of the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing to your In­ter­net Ser­vice Provider (ISP). And if the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing oc­curred on a so­cial me­dia site, be sure to re­port it to them as well. Sites like In­sta­gram, Face­book and Twit­ter will in­ves­ti­gate cy­ber­bul­ly­ing claims, es­pe­cially when it in­volves a mi­nor. Even if the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing is anony­mous or oc­curs un­der a fake ac­count, you should re­port it.

Many times, the ISP, along with the po­lice, can track down who is post­ing or send­ing the mes­sages. Re­mem­ber, you do not have not have to put up with cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. Many times, the cy­ber­bully will leave a clear trail of ev­i­dence that if re­ported to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties can go a long way in putting an end to it.

5. Con­tact the po­lice im­me­di­ately re­gard­ing any threats

Threats of death, threats of phys­i­cal vi­o­lence, in­di­ca­tions of stalk­ing and even sug­ges­tions to com­mit sui­cide should be re­ported im­me­di­ately. You should also re­port any ha­rass­ment that con­tin­ues over an ex­tended pe­riod of time as well as any cor­re­spon­dence that in­cludes ha­rass­ment based on race, re­li­gion or dis­abil­ity. The po­lice will ad­dress these in­ci­dents.

6. Cut off com­mu­ni­ca­tion Can­cel cur­rent so­cial net­work­ing ac­counts in­clud­ing Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and Face­book and open new ac­counts. If the cy­ber­bul­ly­ing is hap­pen­ing via cell phone, change your cell num­ber and get an un­listed num­ber. Then, block the cy­ber­bully from your new so­cial net­work­ing sites, email ac­counts, in­stant mes­sag­ing and cell phones. The key is to make it very dif­fi­cult for the cy­ber­bully to con­tact you.

7. Be aware of the ef­fects of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing

Mil­len­ni­als who are cy­ber­bul­lied ex­pe­ri­ence a wide va­ri­ety of ef­fects in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from feel­ing over­whelmed and vul­ner­a­ble to feel­ing de­pressed and even sui­ci­dal. Be very aware of the con­se­quences of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing and do not be afraid to get the help that you need in or­der to heal.

For par­ent-read­ers who are aware of their child get­ting cy­ber­bul­lied, watch for changes in be­hav­ior and com­mu­ni­cate on a daily ba­sis with your child. It also is im­por­tant to dis­tract your child from so­cial me­dia. Do some­thing fun to­gether or en­cour­age your child to take up a new hobby. The key is to re­di­rect her at­ten­tion away from what oth­ers are say­ing and do­ing.

8. Seek coun­sel­ing and sup­port

Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing is a big is­sue that shouldn’t be han­dled alone. Be sure to sur­round your­self with sup­port­ive friends and fam­ily. Re­mem­ber, it helps to talk to some­one about what is hap­pen­ing. Con­sider find­ing a pro­fes­sional counselor to help you. You also should have your­self eval­u­ated by a health­care pro­fes­sional, es­pe­cially if you no­tice changes in mood, sleep­ing habits or eat­ing habits.

9. Re­frain from tak­ing away tech­nol­ogy

For par­ents, it is nor­mal to want to elim­i­nate what is hurt­ing your child. And for most, the log­i­cal an­swer seems to be to take away the smart­phone and the com­puter. But, for teens, this of­ten means cut­ting off com­mu­ni­ca­tion with their en­tire world.

Their phones and their com­put­ers are one of the most im­por­tant ways they com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers.

If that op­tion for com­mu­ni­ca­tion is re­moved, they can feel se­cluded and cut off from their world. This can ex­ac­er­bate feel­ings of lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion. In­stead, help your child nav­i­gate the sit­u­a­tion by chang­ing on­line be­hav­iors, set­ting up bound­aries and lim­it­ing time on­line.

n to­day’s mod­ern world, so­cial me­dia is so con­ve­nient that it be­comes the pre­ferred method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion for mil­len­ni­als. How­ever, the dis­ad­van­tage is that there also a no­tice­able in­crease in the num­ber of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing cases re­ported. And there are prob­a­bly even more that go un­re­ported.

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