Cyber bullying & respectful relationships
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically.
Behaviours that are Cyberbullying
- abusive texts and emails
- hurtful messages, images or videos
- imitating others online
- excluding others online
- humiliating others online
- nasty online gossip and chat.
What can I do about it?
- Speak out – Make sure you tell someone about what’s going on. It could be a friend or a trusted adult but it’s really important that you don’t suffer in silence.
- Don’t reply – People who bully anonymously are normally looking to get a reaction out of others, by not replying you’re not giving them that satisfaction.
- Save the evidence – This is important in case the bullying escalates further. Taking a screenshot (but not of intimate images (sexts) of anyone under 18) is an effective and quick way of doing this – just press the ‘PrtScn’ button and paste this into a Word document, or use the Snipping Tool on Windows.
- Report – Most social networks have a way of reporting negative content on their platforms. Make sure you know where this is and don’t be afraid of using it. You can report cyberbullying to the E-Safety Commission .
- Block – Most social networks have a ‘block’ feature which allows you to stop interaction with other users. Information on how to do this can normally be found within platform’s safety centres. On mobile phones this can normally be done within the “settings” menu
- Privacy settings – With most social networks you can adjust your privacy settings to stop people you don’t want interacting with you.
- Support – Bullying of any form can be difficult to deal with on your own, if you feel like you want to talk to someone about it you can get in touch with Kids Helpline.
- Police – If you feel that the incident is serious enough to be a criminal offence then you can engage your local police force and make a report.
Tips to avoid online conflict
- Don't respond right away if something upsets you.
- If you can, talk things out in person rather than online. Remember that people can't always tell how you're feeling online
- Talk to trusted friends or family about how you're feeling
- Don't ask your friends/posse to back you up. Research suggests that getting the same message over and over again – even if it's from your friends taking your side in an argument – can make angry feelings a lot more intens
- It's hard to make good decisions when you're feeling hot emotions (such as being mad, scared, embarrassed). If your heart is racing or you're feeling tense, it's time to get offline for a while