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11 Ways to Positively Manage Cyberbullying

11 Ways to Positively Manage Cyberbullying

Bullying doesn’t just take place at school or on the playground anymore. Now that we spend so much of our lives online, bullying via social media, text, or email has become very common. It’s a problem known as cyberbullying, and it can cause feelings of anger, frustration, hurt, and sadness that can affect the victim’s daily life. With approximately 42 million Americans dealing with mental health issues and anxiety, the last thing anyone needs is additional pain or stress. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to escape the feelings that come with being bullied, whether the unwanted attention is coming in person, on your phone, or on your computer! So, what do you do if you’re feeling trapped? If you or your child are feeling the effects of cyberbullying, here are 11 ways to positively manage the problem and push past the negativity of this behavior.

Understand what cyberbullying is… and isn’t

Are you being cyberbullied? Before you take steps to manage the problem, it’s important to know what cyberbullying is–and isn’t. Cyberbullying is something that occurs when a person–usually a child or teen–deliberately (and usually repeatedly) causes humiliation or hurt to another child or teen using an electronic medium like text message, chat rooms, forums, or social media. Because it is electronic, it has a greater reach, and bullies can stay anonymous.

Cyberbullying isn’t a one-time thing. If the cruel behavior is repeated, or has the strong potential to be repeated, that’s bullying. However, if one mean message is sent, or the message doesn’t seem like targeted harassment, the behavior probably hasn’t crossed the line into bullying yet.

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Save evidence of cyberbullying

If you are starting to feel like certain interactions online are progressing into bullying, get evidence. Posts can be deleted after an accusation is made so that bullies can deny doing anything wrong, but if you snap a screenshot on your phone or computer, you’ve got evidence that someone is targeting you. Save those screenshots in their own folder in case you need them in the future.

Block communication from cyberbullies

It’s common advice to “just ignore” bullies’ behavior. Fortunately, that’s a little bit easier to do online in many cases. With most applications allowing you to “block” certain users from communicating with you, you can use these options to avoid harassment. That way you won’t be tempted to answer cruel messages.

Speak with a school counselor

Your counselor is a great resource when it comes to cyberbullying. Whether or not you suspect that someone in your school is your tormentor, your counselor will have strategies you can use for dealing with the abuse. They’ll also be able to take action on your behalf if the problem is from within your own school. Counselors care about your safety and want to help!

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Shake it off with some Taylor Swift (or other music)

Bullies got you down? Shake it off with some of your favorite tunes! Music can help boost your mood, and it can take your mind off what’s going on online. Whether it’s Taylor Swift or another artist, get musical help in dealing with cyberbullying!

Don’t blame yourself

If you’ve been the target of cyberbullying, it’s very important to remember that it’s not your fault. Bullies are usually dealing with their own problems, and they deal with them inappropriately by making others feel bad. As a victim, it’s tempting to blame yourself, but don’t fall into this trap. Bullying is wrong, and it’s not your fault.

Pause before you post

Before you post on social media, forums, or any public platform, and before you even send a private message, take a minute to think. As soon as something is posted, you can’t take it back. You can delete it, but anyone who sees it before you do can take a screenshot and use it against you. Don’t post anything with sensitive information, don’t send compromising pictures, and think about whether or not anything in your post could be used against you before you click “post.”

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Learn how to deal with stress

You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control your own reactions. The best strategies for dealing with stress are very individual–for you it might involve taking a walk when you’re upset, playing a game, or just taking deep breaths. Try a few methods to see what works.

Spend some time off your computer/phone

Frustrated? Walk away and unplug! Remind yourself that there’s more to life than the devices we use. Spend some time off your computer and phone to reconnect with yourself.

Talk with a friend!

Your friends know you better than anyone, so talk with them about your problem. They may have some ideas you hadn’t thought of. Even if they don’t have any new insights, they’ll be there for you!

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Spend time with your friends and family!

Spending time with those who love you is the best antidote to bullying. Remember, your worth is not defined by what a bully says online, it’s defined by your actions, your character, and your relationships. Take a step back and celebrate your friends and family!

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Last Updated on June 8, 2018

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

Let’s face it.  We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.

We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.

However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.

1. Facebook is eating away at your time.

Facebook is eating away your time

    How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.

    2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”

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    Likeaholic

      When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.

      3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.

      priorities

        Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.

        4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.

        lack of intimacy

          Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?

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          5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.

          mother baking

            Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.

            6.  We’d rather record someone than help them.

            drowning

              A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.

              7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.

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              sleeping your life away

                Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.

                8.  Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.

                wanting what someone else is having

                  There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.

                  9. Sensationalism still sells.

                  free expression

                    With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?

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                    10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.

                    gun to mother earth

                      This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?

                      Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com

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