How to avoid bullying 4: cyber bullying
It was reported in the news recently that young people consider cyber bullying to be a normal part of everyday life. That sounds as if that means that young people are learning to recognise when someone is bullying them.
If you know when you’re being bullied over the Internet, the next stage is realise it is not personal, not specifically targeted at you and that none of the things being said or done to you are true. You might think these things are true. Large groups of people may think these things are true. The thing about groups is that opinions pass amongst people with less verification of the facts, the bigger the group. A response to something happening, such as a singer on stage, is very different to a piece of information. Ever heard of Chinese Whispers? It doesn’t work with two people does it?
I can imagine it is very hard to block someone on Facebook who is broadcasting to everyone about the crop cycle of your acne allotment. We want to see what is being said about us. Of course, blocking someone on Facebook is a powerful thing to do. It says: I don’t care what you say, I’m not listening to you and you are rubbish. I’ve been cyber bullied in my 40s and I just wish I’d hit the block button quicker. At least before the other person had defriended me, publicly, whereas I went to block them quietly.
I would like to say here that any behaviour or things said to you that you don’t like or make you feel uncomfortable should be blocked. You could say ‘go away’, ‘shut up’, ‘whatever’ or ‘talk about something more interesting.’ These kinds of phrases are like verbal punches, said in an ‘I’m not interested, couldn’t care less’ kind of way.