When you’re being bullied, the mindset is “I’m the victim” so replace that with “they’re just teasing me” and learn to ignore them. Everyone has teased someone else in their life. We’ve all thought bad thoughts about ourselves and other people. Sometimes in a fit of anger we’re so insecure, filled with fear, we want something bad to happen to a loved one.
Recently I realised how important it is to encourage mature thinking. When I’m in argument with my partner, my child, my friend. We both are loosing out because maybe we’re too immature to recognise what’s really going on. The argument is the energy thief not me and them.
In the same way with Cyberbullying, the language we now use is blowing it out of proportion. Statistics confirms very high incidences taking places worldwide. The UNISA study released in 2012 confirmed 34% of children grade 8-12 surveyed were bullied, while 23% admitted to having bullied another. The same study found over 55% have experienced emotional or traditional bullying.
In adults we call this harassment. When an adult harassment gets out of hand we approach the SAPS for assistance. They can warn the person, however, in most cases they will suggest you get a protection order from a court. Children cannot do this. Children may feel helpless because of the constant barrage of attacks, often from anonymous sources.
The National Crime Prevention Council’s tips emphasize common themes:
- Do not respond to cyberbullying messages.
- Block communication with cyberbullies.
- Keep the messages and report cyberbullying to a trusted adult.
- Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages about others.
- Stand up and tell friends to stop cyberbullying.
- Encourage your school to conduct cyberbullying prevention education.
Many news articles have created a great fear among the parents and children on this issue of cyberbullying. To this extent people feel overwhelmed. With the barrage of stories increasing in the media, there is a learned helplessness that emerges over time. Nobody takes any real action because posting a comment or liking the status is deemed action.