You may know what bullying is, but have you ever heard of cyberbullying? This is when bullying happens over social media and digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It has been on the rise in recent years. In a poll, one out of every four high school students said they had experienced cyberbullying.
While cyberbullying doesn’t involve physical bullying, it can be just as damaging or, in some cases, worse. Cyberbullying can include posting bad comments, rumors, or pictures of someone online, threatening them, or making it so anyone can see private information. These things can stay on the internet for a long time. Another problem with cyberbullying is how frequently bad things can be posted. Someone being cyberbullied might see something new every time they log onto their computer.
There are steps you can take if you are being cyberbullied. Never respond online. It may lead to retaliation and more bullying. Make a record of the bullying behavior. Then report it. Companies that run social media platforms or apps have strict rules about bullying. You can block the person bullying you so that you no longer have online contact with them.
Most importantly, talk to a trusted adult about instances of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can have long lasting effects on both the people that are bullied and the bullies. It needs to be taken very seriously.
What You Can Do Even if you aren’t being cyberbullied, you may know someone who is. If you think someone may be cyberbullied, show them kindness. Sometimes speaking up for someone online can help. You should also talk to them about it and seek help from a trusted adult.
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