When technology bites you back…

The internet and mobile phones can be great fun but they can also become negative experiences for those who experience cyberbullying.  Cyberbullying and trolling have been in the media lately but do you really know what it means?  Cyberbullying is when people use technology to bully you and make your life miserable from a distance.  It can occur anytime, anywhere and leave you feeling unsafe and alone.

Examples are:

  • Abusive texts and emails
  • Posting mean messages or images
  • Intimidating or excluding others online

How do I deal with it?

  • Don’t retaliate or respond, no matter how tempting.
  • Block the person doing the bullying and change your privacy settings.
  • Report it – click the report abuse button.
  • Collect the evidence – keep mobile phone messages and print emails or social networking conversations.
  • Your parents can contact any regular site which displays embarrassing pictures of you and ask for them to be taken off
  • Talk to someone you trust, like a family member or friend.
  • Talking to your teachers or parents can make a difference. Your school may have policies in place to deal with bullying and cyberbullying.
  • You can set an example with the way you treat others.  Make sure what you do or say to others is how you’d want to be treated

The important thing is not to do this alone, tell someone and get the support you need

Check out http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/ and http://headroom.net.au/ for more information

If you can’t find someone to talk too there is the Kids helpline on 1800 55 1800 or http://www.kidshelp.com.au

Have you or someone you know experienced cyberbullying?  How did you deal with it, what worked? Did you get sucked into the cycle and say something you regretted? If so how did you stop? Your experience might help someone else…

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