Kw-logo-smaller

Dear Dish-It: I'm Being Cyberbullied

Stop Cyberbullying!
Stop Cyberbullying!

Dear Dish-It,

I told my friend I didn't want to be friends anymore, now she is sending me hate-mail. What should I do? I already blocked her from everything and I told my parents.

Dramaqueen13

Dear Dramaqueen13,

Sounds like your friend is being a bit of a cyberbully. Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Online threats or "flames" (rude texts, IMs, or messages) count. So does posting personal information or videos designed to hurt or embarrass someone else.

Online bullying can be easier to commit than other acts of bullying because the bully doesn't have to confront the victim in person. Some cyberbullies probably don't realize just how hurtful their actions are.

By definition, cyberbullying involves young people. If an adult sends the messages or notes, it may meet the legal definition of cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking.

Virtual Acts, Real Consequences

Because of the role technology plays in our lives, there is often no place to hide from bullies. Online bullying can happen at home as well as school (even in the coffee shop or anywhere else people go online). And it can happen 24 hours a day. Sometimes, online bullying, like other kinds of bullying, can leave people at risk for serious problems: Stress from being in a constant state of upset or fear can lead to problems with mood, energy level, sleep, and appetite. It can also make someone feel jumpy, anxious, or sad. It's not just the person being bullied who gets hurt — the punishment for cyberbullies can be serious. More and more schools and after-school programs are creating systems to respond to cyberbullying. Schools may kick bullies off sports teams or suspend them from school. Some types of cyberbullying may violate school codes or even break antidiscrimination or sexual harassment laws, so a bully may face serious legal trouble.

Why Do People Do It?

Why would someone be a cyberbully? There are probably as many reasons as there are bullies themselves. Sometimes, what seems like cyberbullying may be accidental. The impersonal nature of text messages, IMs, and emails makes it very hard to detect a sender's tone, and one person's joke could be another's devastating insult.

Most people know when they're being bullied, though, as bullying involves relentless teasing or threats. The people doing the bullying know they've crossed a line too. It's not a one-off joke or insult — it's constant harassment and threats.

Intentional online bullying can be a sign that the bully is feeling hurt, frustrated, or angry, and is lashing out at others.

What to Do

If you're being bullied, harassed, or teased in a hurtful way — or know someone who is — there is no reason to suffer in silence. In fact, you absolutely should report upsetting IMs, emails, texts, etc.

  1. Tell someone. Most experts agree: the first thing to do is tell an adult you trust. This is often easier said than done. Teens who are cyberbullied may feel embarrassed or reluctant to report a bully. But bullying can escalate, so speak up until you find someone to help.
  2. Most parents are so concerned about protecting their kids that sometimes they focus on taking all precautions to stop the bullying. If you're being bullied and worry about losing your Internet or phone privileges, explain your fears to your parents. Let them know how important it is to stay connected, and work with them to figure out a solution that doesn't leave you feeling punished as well. You may have to do some negotiating on safe cell phone or computer use — the most important thing is to first get the bullying under control.
  3. You can also talk to your school counselor or trusted teacher or other family member. If the bullying feels like it's grinding your life down, counseling can help. If you're not ready for that, you can still benefit from the support of a trusted adult.
  4. Walk away. That tip you've heard about walking away from a real-life bully works in the virtual world too. Knowing that you can step away from the computer (or turn off your phone) allows you to keep things in perspective and focus on the good things in your life. Ignoring bullies is the best way to take away their power. Sometimes ignoring a bully isn't easy to do — just try the best you can.
  5. Report it to your service provider. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube take it seriously when people use their sites to post cruel or mean stuff or set up fake accounts. If users report abuse, the site administrator may block the bully from using the site in future. You can also complain to phone service or email providers (such as Gmail, Verizon, Comcast, and Yahoo) if someone is bothering you.
  6. Block the bully. Most devices have settings that allow you to electronically block the bully or bullies from sending notes. If you don't know how to do this, ask a friend or adult who does.
  7. Don't respond. Resist the urge to "fight back." In some cases, standing up to a bully can be effective, but it's also more likely to provoke the person and escalate the situation. Ask an adult to intervene instead — after all, fighting fire with fire just leaves everything burned.
  8. Although it's not a good idea to respond to a bully, it is a good idea to save evidence of the bullying if you can. It can help you prove your case, if needed. You don't have to keep mean emails, texts, or other communications where you see them all the time — you can forward them to a parent or save them to a flash drive.
  9. Be safe online. Password protect your cell phone and your online sites, and change your passwords often. Be sure to share your passwords only with your parent or guardian. It's also wise to think twice before sharing personal information or photos/videos that you don't want the world to see. Once you've posted a photo or message, it can be difficult or impossible to delete. So remind yourself to be cautious when posting photos or responding to someone's upsetting message.

If A Friend is a Bully

If you see a friend acting as a cyberbully, take him or her aside and gently talk about it. Perhaps there's a reason behind the bullying and you can help your friend think about what it is. Or, if you don't know the person well enough to talk about feelings, just stand up for your own principles: Let the bully know it's not cool. Explain that it can have very serious consequences for the bully as well as "bystanders" like you and your friends who may feel stressed out or upset about what's going on.

Related Stories
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

MonasYou

MonasYou wrote:

Awesome Article. :'D
commented: Wed Jul 16, 2014

meggie125

meggie125 wrote:

good point :)
commented: Wed Apr 09, 2014

meggie125

meggie125 wrote:

I don't like cyber bullying
commented: Wed Apr 09, 2014

there are 82 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

Poll

Have You Been Bullied?

  • Yeah, I deal with bullies every day at school.
  • I've been bullied in the past.
  • No, I've never been bullied.
  • No... but I've bullied other people before.

related stories

Micro_bully-mic
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach, discusses bullying prevention tips.
Micro_deletedigitaldrama-mic
It's clear that everyone, especially young people ready to put an end to online bullying, and we'...
Micro_no-cyberbullying-mic
Yesterday Facebook and Time Warner announced a new initiative to combat cyber bullying, one of th...
Okay, if you want to be a better player at a sport - you practice. Dealing with bullies takes pra...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

kaykay2002
kaykay2002 posted in Friends:
"Wooper1255" wrote:No. Just no. Mr. Face does not approve this. ._.Okay, okay, let's get serious.Your best friend BULLYING you? And loves it when you get mad? What the heck? SHE'S NOT EVEN YOUR FRIEND!You should have a talk with your best friend. No seriously, she doesn't have any friends cause she's a bully and no one likes to be friends with a bully...You should tell your best friend that she NEEDS to change her attitude! She needs to be more nicer to others also.Also, a best friend is: Caring, Kind, Loyal, Nice, Thoughtful, and will stand up for you against bullies, will be there if you're upset, maybe they'll even CRY with you!A best friend is totally NOT: Someone who bullies you, Someone who likes it when your madYou should ask her any of the following questions:Are you Okay?Why are you bullying me? You're my friend.Is something wrong like family issues?Questions like that are good because there may be a reason for bullying. She could be suffering from depression, or is confused or lonely. Just talk to her. Have a discussion with her. Also, you should talk to other people. Ask them why they aren't friends with your best friend. Then maybe, after they tell you what they don't like about her, you can go back to your best friend and tell her the things she needs to improve on. Also, if necessary, tell an adult like your mom, a teacher, consular, or her mom.Whatever you think will solve this conflict between you and your best friend well... just go for it. But think about the outcome too.Hope I helped, I might add some tips and suggestions to you. :3  your right and the only reason I have put up with her this long is because her dad died but I cant stand her anymore so but seriously I feel like there is another reason bcuz she has had people confront her saying "u know what I have put up wit this for a while and I have told u to stop and u don't listen and I know your dad died but that doesn't mean u can treat people like that "  but she still does it and for the past 3 yrs. I have put up with it but not anymore I will talk to her about it. Thanks.
reply about 11 hours
Wooper1255
Wooper1255 posted in Friends:
You NEED to tell your parents or HER parents about her attitude, this is abuse from your OWN best friend! Tell an adult, don't be afraid, it's not even SILLY to tell an adult, this is serious, she is HURTING you! Tell someone before things get out of hand and she REALLY hurts you! D=
reply about 12 hours
Wooper1255
Wooper1255 posted in Friends:
No. Just no. Mr. Face does not approve this. ._. Okay, okay, let's get serious. Your best friend BULLYING you? And loves it when you get mad? What the heck? SHE'S NOT EVEN YOUR FRIEND! You should have a talk with your best friend. No seriously, she doesn't have any friends cause she's a bully and no one likes to be friends with a bully... You should tell your best friend that she NEEDS to change her attitude! She needs to be more nicer to others also. Also, a best friend is: Caring, Kind, Loyal, Nice, Thoughtful, and will stand up for you against bullies, will be there if you're upset, maybe they'll even CRY with you! A best friend is totally NOT: Someone who bullies you, Someone who likes it when your mad You should ask her any of the following questions: Are you Okay? Why are you bullying me? You're my friend. Is something wrong like family issues? Questions like that are good because there may be a reason for bullying. She could be suffering from depression, or is confused or lonely. Just talk to her. Have a discussion with her. Also, you should talk to other people. Ask them why they aren't friends with your best friend. Then maybe, after they tell you what they don't like about her, you can go back to your best friend and tell her the things she needs to improve on. Also, if necessary, tell an adult like your mom, a teacher, consular, or her mom. Whatever you think will solve this conflict between you and your best friend well... just go for it. But think about the outcome too. Hope I helped, I might add some tips and suggestions to you. :3
reply about 12 hours
Boysrock50
Boysrock50 posted in Friends:
Yeah I had a friend in the same situation as you, he was too scared to say anything so we spoke for him. Now the 'friend' has changed and hes our mate. Just tell her straight and firmly, its the only way
reply about 12 hours
kaykay2002
kaykay2002 posted in Friends:
"Boysrock50" wrote:She is obviously NOT your best friend.I wouldn't even call her a friendShe is a bully who thinks she can have her own wayShe thinks she can control you like you're her follower because she the truth is she needs youBe smart and leave her because she's only going to keep you down and then one day she will find  friends just like her and she will just ignore you forever, thinking shes too cool for you.I would either:Tell her straight that she needs to make her own friends because you don't want to be friends anymoreor:Tell her that you don't like what she does and either she changes her ways and acts more like a friend, or you cant be friends anymore.I'm not trying to be harsh, I'm being wise and you should be wise too. Thanks I actually might try that but she is really stubborn and will not take no for an answer I have tried just ignoring her but he will kick, hit, or punch me to get attention. my parents also don't like her bcuz she is bossy. I also have to go to summer camp with her for the next 2 weeks and w have to be buddies for it so i think i might die
reply about 12 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...