Bullying is the intentional harm of another individual using intimidation and coercion, and it impacts a person’s mental health. Bullies can be any age, from children to adults. There are many forms of bullying, but one of the most insidious types of abuse out there is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the abuse or harassment of another individual by electronic means. A cyberbully may torture their victim through social media, apps, email, or chat forums. Some cyberbullies are clever and hurt people without others knowing. The victim is afraid to report the abuse because the cyberbully is sneaky. The victim is worried that others won’t believe them. It’s important to understand that cyberbullying is an actual form of abuse and needs to be taken seriously. Here’s more about how cyberbullying impacts others and how we can help the victims.
Cyberbullying impacts a person’s self-esteem
Any form of bullying is detrimental to a person’s self-esteem or self-worth. The long-term impacts of bullying can be highly damaging to an individual’s mental health. If you’re wondering about the effects of bullying, you can learn more about it in the bullying section on BetterHelp. You’ll read about the different forms of abuse, including cyberbullying. When a person is bullied through electronic means, it’s demoralizing. They may feel shame in the privacy of their home. If you’re sitting at a computer, and a cyberbully is spewing insults at you about your character, it’s a lonely feeling. It’s you and the bully face to face, even if it’s through a screen. You might be worried about reporting the abuse because cyberbullies are pretty convincing. One of the talents of a cyberbully is isolating their victim. If you’re the target of a cyberbully, no matter what they tell you, it’s crucial to report them. There are safeguards on social media, forums, and chat rooms when someone is being abusive.
Document the bullying
Cyberbullying is upsetting because it takes place on a screen. Words can hurt, and it’s a horrible feeling when you see them directed towards you. You can’t get away from them. You’re looking at cruel sentences directed at you. You must document the abuse so you can show it to the authorities, whether that’s school officials or the police. One way to keep track of cyberbullying is using screenshots. You must save the details of the abuse you receive online. The reason for this is so you can share it with the right people. If you’re under 18, it’s critical to find a trusted adult to show the screenshots to, so they can help you fight back against the bully. You need those screenshots to show law enforcement if you’re an adult. You can take screenshots on a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac. Make sure you save the images to show that the bullying is happening to you.
One trusted adult
If you’re being cyberbullied and you’re under 18, pick an adult you feel comfortable with, someone you trust, and tell them about the bullying. You may be scared to report it, but it’s necessary for your safety and mental health. The bully has less power if you tell an adult about the abuse. That adult can help you figure out how to fight back. Once you take that first step, which is a brave one, you’re halfway to getting the help you need. You don’t have to go through bullying alone. The cyberbully wants you to give up because they like having control. Don’t let them have that power. You can get the help you need to take that bully down by talking to an adult.
Bullies thrive off the engagement they get with their victims. It’s the way they control them. Don’t give the bully what they want. The more you connect with them, the worse the abuse will get. It’s challenging to do this at times, but don’t engage or talk to the bully. They will try to draw you in because bullies do that well. But it works to your benefit if you stop talking to them. The more you text back and forth, the more ammunition that person has to hurt you. That brings us to the next step: block the bully.
Block the bully
Never underestimate the power of blocking people online. If you’re being cyberbullied, it’s critical to block that person. Whether it’s their phone number, email, or username on social media platforms, it’s of the utmost importance that you block them. Blocking the bullying restricts their ability to continue the abuse. They have no access to you if you cut them off. You’re not running away from a fight by blocking them. You’re protecting yourself. Blocking someone who is hurting you is a matter of self-care.
Report the bullying to the police
Sometimes cyberbullying gets to a dangerous place. If you’re an adult and are cyberbullied, you may need to report the bullying to the police. It’s essential to do this if the cyberbully is threatening your safety. The problem with electronic forms of abuse is that sometimes they’re not taken seriously. Cyberbullying can become dangerous, just like any other form of abuse. That’s why it’s crucial to report it if your safety is being threatened. The police need screenshots of the threats so they can help protect your security. You might be wary of reporting the abuse to the authorities, but it’s a matter of keeping you and your family safe.
Talk about cyberbullying in therapy
Anyone can be cyberbullied, whether you are an adult or a young person. It’s a terrible thing to go through, and no one should have to endure it alone. If you’re the victim of electronic harassment, you can talk about it in therapy. Whether you see a therapist online or in your local area, talking about cyberbullying in treatment can help you. Bullying is traumatic, and if you’ve been cyberbullied, you’re a survivor of trauma. You need to process what you’ve been through so you can heal. Therapy is one of the best places to start that healing process.