Usually people who are abusive online are going through difficult things IRL that they aren’t dealing with properly. Ditch the Label research has found that trolls are far more likely to be struggling with their mental health, have lower self esteem and often have stressful and traumatic situations in their lives that they aren’t coping well with.
Top 12 things to do if you’re experiencing cyberbullying
Experiencing cyberbullying can be really tough. We all spend a lot of time online, and so it can feel really overwhelming and impossible to escape. The most important thing to know is that you are not alone, and there are lots of places you can go to for support. Here are the top 12 things you can do if you are experiencing cyberbullying and some places that can help you.
In most cases, cyberbullying is short lived and will fade out provided you take the right steps. Unfortunately, occasionally cases can get serious, which is why it’s important to document as much evidence as possible as soon as the abuse begins. This could include screenshots and chat logs and ensures that you have proof of the abuse even if it is deleted.
It can be really isolating to go through cyberbullying, especially because it can feel like it might never end. A really important thing to do is to make sure you are not going through this alone, so reach out to someone you trust in person and tell them about your experiences. A problem shared is always a problem halved.
Every single platform online has a report function. It varies from platform to platform as to how you do it, but every update has been making reporting easier and more prominent on posts for easy access. If you are unsure how to do it on a specific platform, we’ve covered a few here.
If you believe it is a classmate or someone that you know in school or your workplace, you should report it to the school or your HR. Both will have strong anti-bullying policies that will protect you. Steps can be taken to ensure it doesn’t carry on. We know you probably feel intimidated by the idea of going to others about this, but it’s a really effective way of getting it to stop and getting support at the same time.
If you know the person and feel safe doing so, it may be a good idea to calmly approach them in a neutral face-to-face setting and explain to them how their actions are making you feel and ask them to stop. Sometimes people do this with a trained mediator present who can help de-escalate if the conversation turns heated.
Studies have shown that half of all LGBTQIA people have experienced online harassment in the form of private messages or via social media posts. (Source: 2015 National School Climate Survey.” GLSEN) got2b passionately believes time is overdue to change that. got2b is an inclusive brand and stands for self-expression encouraging people to celebrate their originality with their style, show their personality, individuality, and attitude. got2b is committed to helping create a safer environment in which people can express their originality without having to fear repercussions.
Ditch the Label have special relationships with most major social media platforms. This means they can get things taken down faster than if you do it through the normal reporting function on a social media platform. You can report something to them here.
Taking care of yourself is important. You should try to surround yourself with friends and family that you trust and love for additional support when you are going through cyberbullying. It will help to take your mind off it, and support your general wellbeing whilst these things are going on. Remember that this is temporary and it shall pass!
Unplugging from social media will put some space between you and what is going on, and allow you to reconnect with your life offline. It can show you that you have a lot more in your life to be thankful for, and allow you to engage in the things you love without feeling distracted.
It is really important to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing when you are dealing with cyberbullying. Build some time into your day for exercise, meditation or yoga and some other activities that you find calming or distracting. Make sure you talk to someone if you feel like you are struggling, and ensure that you are eating healthily. We know this might all sound obvious, but so many difficult situations we deal with are made a lot easier by caring for ourselves throughout them.
Finally, you are not alone. Cyberbullying unfortunately has existed since the internet, and there are so many people that deal with this every day. We know this might not make your situation feel any better, but it also means that there are loads of places you can turn to for expert support and advice.