The youth of today, better known as millennials grew up in a technology-filled and social networking era where access to their idols, celebrities, information and news is easy. While the internet has played a massive role in empowering the youth, and giving them a “voice”, it has also created a platform to express hate and other types of dislike for other human beings. Cyberbullying has been on the rise, and in fact has become a norm in our society. Cyberbullying is said to be getting worse than drug abuse. In light of July 2016’s Marie Claire cover issue , celebrities like Bonang Matheba, a South African TV personality and Brand Ambassador for Revlon cosmetics, speaks out about being bullied and online shaming. She also gives an account of the nasty tweets she deals with on a daily basis.
Cyberbullying is a serious problem and can happen in the form of mean texts or emails, rumours spread via email or social networking sites, embarrassing videos or pictures publicly displayed and fake profiles. The effects of cyberbullying may be drastic and include psychological problems, suicidal thoughts and even physical illnesses. Read more here.
There are 5 types of cyberbullying:
- Harassment: Bullying in the form of sending offensive or malicious messages to an individual repeatedly.
- Flaming: Similar to harassment but involves online fights via emails, instant messaging or chat rooms.
- Exclusion: Singling out an individual intentionally, in order to speak ill of them.
- Outing: Bullying by sharing someone’s personal and private information, pictures or videos publicly.
- Masquerading: Creating a fake identity in order to harass someone anonymously.
A few important tips on how to handle cyberbullying
*Telling someone. Talking about bullying with a peer or a parent may help you deal with the situation better.
*Ignoring them and block them. Bullies often want you to feel inferior and want a reaction out of you. The best way may be to ignore them or block them from your social media page.
*Take a break and step away from the internet to shut out all the negativity. More tips here.
Taking a firm stand against bullying
Stand firm and strong against bullying and realise that in most cases cyber bullies don’t have much of a social life and they get their social quota filled by bullying. Stay confident no matter what they say to you – don’t let them get under your skin. In most cases, bullies only pick on you because you have something special that they want.
How do you handle online bullies? Share your tips with us.
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