Cyberbullying is not a joke. It’s not something you can laugh off or ignore. It’s not something that only happens to other people. It’s something that can happen to you. And it can ruin your life.
About 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. 30% have had it happen more than once.
95% of teens in the U.S. are online, and the vast majority access the internet on their mobile devices, making it the most common medium for cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet or a mobile device to harass, threaten, humiliate, or hurt someone else. It can take many forms, such as:
Sending mean or abusive messages
Posting nasty or embarrassing photos or videos
Spreading lies or rumors
Creating fake accounts or profiles
Hacking into someone’s account or device
Excluding someone from online groups or activities
Encouraging someone to harm themselves or others
Cyberbullying can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. You can be cyberbullied by someone you know or someone you don’t know. You can be cyberbullied by one person or by a group of people. You can be cyberbullied on social media, messaging apps, online games, forums, blogs, or any other online platform.
Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for your mental health and well-being. It can make you feel:
Sad and depressed
Angry and frustrated
Anxious and stressed
Scared and paranoid
Lonely and isolated
Guilty and ashamed
Hopeless and suicidal
Cyberbullying can also affect your physical health. It can cause you to have:
Headaches and stomachaches
Insomnia and fatigue
Loss of appetite and weight changes
Skin problems and hair loss
Self-harm and substance abuse
Cyberbullying can also affect your social and academic life. It can make you:
Lose interest in hobbies and activities
Withdraw from friends and family
Avoid school and work
Perform poorly in exams and assignments
Drop out of school or quit your job
Cyberbullying can also affect your future prospects. It can:
Damage your reputation and credibility
Limit your career and education opportunities
Ruin your relationships and trust
Haunt you for years to come
In short, cyberbullying can ruin your life. And it’s not something you should tolerate or accept.
But don’t worry. You’re not alone. And you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are things you can do to protect yourself and get help. Here are some tips:
Don’t respond or retaliate. This will only give the cyberbullies what they want and make things worse. Ignore them or block them if you can.
Save the evidence. Take screenshots or printouts of cyberbullying messages or posts. This will help you report them to the authorities or take legal action if needed.
Report the cyberbullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher, counsellor, friend, or police officer. They can support you and help you deal with the situation. You can also report the cyberbullying to the platform where it happened, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
Seek professional help. If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, angry, or suicidal, please don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide you with counselling, therapy, medication, or other treatments that can help you cope and heal.
Take care of yourself. Cyberbullying can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. So make sure you take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping well, exercising regularly, relaxing often, and doing things that make you happy.
Remember: You’re not alone. You’re not to blame. You’re not powerless.
You’re a strong, beautiful, amazing person who deserves respect and kindness.
You’re a survivor who can overcome cyberbullying and live a happy and fulfilling life.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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