Preventing Cyberbullying

Originally Published On: Mar 20, 2017

Note: Why am I doing this on my own? I hope that those who are wealthier and smarter than me are using the same strategies to help the women. I am learning all this through volunteering for the Buddy Program. I came across two of my buddies by going online, and I found four other buddies in real life. Its okay to leave your buddies once you have finished protecting them, and you must take the type of job that you can complete given your economic and mental conditions as well as education─you have to know your resources like Stop A Bully or PREVNet. I recommend that all the women start their own Buddy Programs and manage them slowly. Over time, they can teach these tips to those who are concerned; and that’s how life will keep moving in the right direction for some of the victims of abuse.

On some occasions, I had to endure severe cyberbullying that was either directed at me or at one of my Facebook friends─most of these incidences involved verbal abuse and there are lots and lots of these happening online every second. These incidences are very sensitive because a lot of time I had to analyze things objectively while discarding or minimizing the impact of commentary by everyone else who was watching. I noticed that there were times when my mind felt fatigued as it attempted to figure out the intentions behind certain comments. It isn’t easy but dissolving such situations has always worked out. Here are some things I have learned to do to stop cyberbullying:

  1. Take a screenshot of the screen or chat
  2. Reproduce the screenshot when you are reporting to the administration
  3. Remove photos in which you were tagged or report spam tags
  4. Provide emotional support to the victim who is trying to manage a conversation
  5. Prevent any pushy comments such as statements that may cause victim blaming
  6. When you are helping a friend out, make sure they can identify you
  7. Leave the entire set of online or real-life friends who were busy bullying or silencing you
  8. Monitor the online activity of the abuser to see what else he/she has been posting

I feel cyberbullying is becoming common because we are facing the digital age. Social media sites like Facebook or Twitter have very distracting interfaces and that’s why it is easy to develop irritation this way. Secondly, there is no real shared warmth and whatever you are receiving is a more broken up version. Lastly, we are being bombarded with too many things online, such as courses about handling depression, but the real learning is supposed to take place in person.

Nowadays, almost anyone can become a cyberbully. Past trauma is just one indication that a person has slipped into doing something he/she doesn’t want to do. These situations can be made worse if other people decide to stalk either the abuser or the victim.

Reviewing methods used by individuals who have experience preventing bullying or reading helpful articles will allow you to smoothly walk out of a scary situation. Practice makes you better. For instance, I have been exposed to bully prevention since I was in high school; all my moves were acquired slowly over time and with exposure to different types of situations. My experiences have taught me that one can even befriend and heal their abusers given that a functional group is present. And, always forgive yourself if you lose sometimes. Use the #FIRSTRESPONDENTFIRST PTSD Resource Toolkit if you feel you need to recover from the influence of traumatic memories. For every case that you lose somehow, write down all the lessons learned and work differently next time─that’s how you learn and improve in real life.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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