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It’s late and I should probably be in bed. I need to pack and, honestly, I really could just do with the sleep. But here I am, staring at my laptop in an empty house, sipping hot chocolate and trying to figure out what route to take this post down. So let me tell you how to stop cyber bullying.
Cyber Bullying & Me
Lately I’ve been getting more “trolls”. Not the kind that live under a bridge, or the super cute 90s ones with the awesome hair, though I think I’ll start picturing them like that to make myself feel better. IMAGINE. But yeah, by trolls I mean pricks that are brave behind a computer but when it comes down to it are actually 100% inconsequential. Lurking in all corners of the internet!
I have personally experienced “cyber bullying” on Twitter, Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram, Facebook, on my website and via email. Pinterest doesn’t seem so popular with the cyber bullies. I’m sure Snapchat can be too, but maybe people are just too busy sending dick pics to tell you how much they hate you and your opinions?!
At one point I was so disturbed by one person for months on end that I was getting night terrors. I was SO anxious about what they would do next that I couldn’t sleep. In the end I realised that I was giving them power that they simply didn’t have. Sooooo, I just pictured that person as a tiny ant and I flicked them away.
Ignore or React?
So here’s how to stop cyber bullying. In my extensive experience with this over the past few months I can definitely say that the best method is to ignore their comments/messages. Not only ignore the cyber bullies but screenshot their ridiculousness, delete their comments, block them and erase any evidence that they ever existed in the first place (as much as humanly possible).
Whatever that person is saying, IT DOES NOT MATTER. If it makes you feel bad, DELETE IT. It really is that simple. Do NOT allow them to ruin your happiness. It may take you a few hours to stop going over the comment in your head, but if you’d responded and gotten into some hideous nasty debate it would be so much worse. These people THRIVE upon the reaction they get from their targets. So don’t give them any fuel.
Your own happiness is something you have to build by surrounding yourself with positivity and letting go of any negativity. Cyber-bullies count as negativity. SO chuck it in the “fuck it” bucket and keep doing your thing. Because, honestly, the only power they have is what you give them. Give ‘em nothing.
How to protect yourself online
First things first, SCREENSHOT EVERYTHING!! Evidence, evidence, evidence. You have no idea how well this has served me in the past. I’m not saying cyber bullying always escalates, but very rarely it can grow into full blown harassment and then you will want all the evidence to show to the relevant authorities/officials. SAVE EVERYTHING!
I’m going to say this again, NEVER respond to cyber bullying, that way you’ll always be able to say that the other person is 100% the offender. Screenshots aren’t so useful if you’re responding to the troll’s comments in an angry manner. Now, let’s get down to the specifics; how to stop cyber bullying across all forms of social media ……
Ok, this can be tricky. If someone leaves a horrible comment or is sending you inappropriate messages block them IMMEDIATELY. If you don’t, and they choose to block you, then you have no control over the situation. They can unblock you and have a look at your page without you even knowing, WHENEVER THEY WANT. Then they can leave a horrible comment and block you again. And that cycle can continue. UNLESS, you are quick enough to go and block them first.
How to block someone: Go onto their Instagram profile and press the dotted line in the top right hand corner. A menu will appear and block will be the first option. Click this and say yes! There you go, BLOCKED!
How to delete a comment: Press and hold on the offending comment until it is highlighted blue. Once it is highlighted blue a trash can (that’s for all you American viewers)/rubbish bin will appear in the top right hand corner. Tap that and it will ask you if you want to remove it, SAY YES.
That’s it. Sure they can make another profile and irritate you that way, but just repeat the above steps.
Ok in this case, you can’t delete the tweet. However, let’s go through how to block these cyber bullying bastards.
How to block someone: If you select the tweet and click on that familiar dotted line in the top right hand corner you are given the option to Block or report. I recommend reporting first and THEN blocking. If you haven’t received a troll tweet yet but pre emptively want to block someone you go to their profile and click the little cog on the left and that will pop up with another menu giving you the option to block or report.
BOOM. OUT OF YOUR VIRTUAL LIFE.
Facebook on your PERSONAL page is easy enough. Yep, cyber bullies can be your FB “friends” too.
How to block someone: You simply go onto the person’s (if we can really class cyber bullying folk AS people) profile, click that friendly dotted line on the right again and the menu drops down. The option to block will be there.
How to delete a comment: Deleting the comment is very straight forward. Press and hold on the comment and a menu will pop up again with the options to delete or report. Do both, WHY NOT?!
If it’s your FB Business page such as my FB Blog page, that’s a little easier.
How to delete a comment: You press and hold on the comment and you will be given the option “Ban user and Delete comment”. PERFECT!
How to Ban someone that’s sending you messages: This is a bit harder to deal with on your phone. I ended up having to use my laptop to ban a guy that was sending me creepy messages. You go into the messages and click “Actions” in the top right hand corner. Then it will give you the option to report. Click report and then you will be given several options as to WHY you want to report it. After you choose one Facebook will give you the option to ban the user.
DONE. Awesome. That’s one more social media form, SAFE!
Not likely to encounter any cyber bullying here. The people of Pinterest are a friendly folk but it’s best to cover all bases.
How to block someone: Go to their profile and click on the ABOUT tab. Then at the very bottom, underneath the menu it brings up, is a little flag. Beside the flag it says “Report or Block (whoever)”. Click that and it’s pretty straight forward from there!
Gosh, who knew telling you guys how to stop cyber bullying would be such a LONG post!
To be honest I don’t think you can block a person from your website, the best thing to do is just delete their comments. If you have a website, I really don’t need to explain to you how it’s done. You got this! You know how to stop cyber bullying at this stage.
On Gmail, do this on your laptop, it is WAY EASIER.
How to block someone: Click into the offending email. There will be a small upside down triangle beside a left – pointing arrow. Click on the triangle. The 8th option on the menu should be to “Block” the sender.
This is probably starting to feel a bit samey, but hey, we’re basically done!
SO FUCK THEM
If you find cyber bullying getting to you, just take a minute to yourself. Turn off your computer, breathe and look around at your life. You’re REAL life. It’s still the same. You still have your friends, your family, and everything else. Whatever that horribly unhappy person said on-line has not changed ANYTHING. They’re just words in a made-up virtual world.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but rant to your friends/family, follow my steps above and conquer those cyber bullies. Keep your chin up, keep smiling and say fuck ’em.