Sometimes, without realising you could make a comment online that you perhaps didn’t think out well enough or seemed funny at the time. Minutes later you may regret this decision and choose to delete the comment, however, once something is put out on the internet it can never truly be erased. To make sure online use is positive consider the THINK principles before posting:
T = True
H = Helpful
I = Inspiring
N = Necessary
If the comment, picture or post does not meet the THINK requirements, it should be deleted or re-phrased. This helps make sure online spaces are safe and positive.
What to do if you are cyberbullying someone:
How do you know if you are a bully? Sometimes people say things, post pictures or make comments that they don’t really mean or are thought to be a joke. But, there is a fine line between banter and bullying (The Mix has an article on this). Comments that can initially seem like innocent jokes can also spiral out of control as other people join in or share posts. Our words and actions online can end up actually really hurting or offending others.
Sometimes unkind comments are also deliberately targeted towards certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, appearance or disability.
Very often, people who bully others were or are bullied themselves. To read more about why some people bully, click this link.
It is important to remember that our words and actions – on- and offline – should always be kind and positive, whether or not we know the person and even if our comments are anonymous. Cyberbullying is taken very seriously. Visit StopSpeakSupport to find out what you can do to prevent cyberbullying.
I have been cyberbulling… what can I do?
If you have been cyberbullying someone, admitting this and wanting to change is a really positive step. Next, it is important to think about why you have been bullying, and try to make amends. Youthoria’s website has some guidance on this.
For more information, read this.
What to do if you are being cyberbullied:
If cyberbullying does occur, there are 5 steps you can do to make sure you stay safe:
- Reach out – tell an adult you trust
- Ignore – often bullies look for a reaction and by giving them one may escalate the situation
- Block – block the number/profile/page the cyberbullying is coming from
- Report – make the website, schools or an adult aware of the bullying. It can be helpful to document what was said.
- Do not believe it – although it can be hard, do not let bullies affect your self-esteem. Meet a friend, watch a favourite film, or eat your favourite food and try to forget about the comment!
If there is not a trusted adult you feel you can speak to, reach out to BullyingUK on 0808 800 222 or ChildLine on 08001111. For more information and advice on bullying or prejudice, click the links and images.