thextraordinarionly curbing social media bullying today feature image by Hazlo Emma

Social Media Bullying Smackdown!

How to Close the Gates of Social Media Bullying Menace

Definition

What is social media bullying? Social media bullying is the use of electronic technology to embarrass, harass, and threaten or socially excluding others (Nidirect Government Services, 2013).

Despite the fact that social media enables internet users to interact and have fun, there have been reports of bullying and teasing on these platforms.

Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.

Online social networks are platforms for chatting with internet users. They enable you, the user, to create a profile, leave messages and comments, upload photos, music and videos, play games and so on.

The common social networks include Pinterest, Facebook, MeWE, Twitter, YouTube, friend feed, WhatsApp, flick, Instagram and many more.

In addition to the above, online gaming sites, review and rating sites, dating sites and website forums are also part of the medium for sharing information on the internet.

thextraordinarionly curb the social media menace in the internet age pin

In what ways can this bullying be curbed?

Ways of Bullying On Social Media Platforms

Social media bullying involves the following:

Posting of abusive messages on your wall

Forwarding embarrassing information or images about you online

Insulting and mocking you

Rating your appearance, intelligence or character

Commenting rudely on your uploaded pictures

Uploading provocative pictures and videos on a profile of a favorite social media platform

Making fun of the others (Family Lives, 2013, p. 6)

Stealing or faking your identity

Sending abusive messages to others

Threatening you physically (Knighton, et al., 2011, p. 6).

thextraordianrionly blowing out someones candle quote on social media bullying post

Thinking About Social Media Bullying? Reasons Why It’s Time To Stop

Victims and Perpetrators

According to Knighton, et al. (2011), the victims of social media bullying are people of any age, with those at the highest risk being at the age of 12-14. Notwithstanding, the research also shows that girls are more at risk than boys.

The perpetrators are youths who are non-aggressive. The irony is that the technology of the Internet Age (IoT) provides a sense of safety and distance from a victim.

Older people are not an exemption. There is a percentage of older persons involved in bullying too. However, this becomes cyber harassment and cyberstalking – a crime that has legal consequences including jail time.

Warning!

The mental health and the well-being of the victim are damaged by any form of social media bullying. The victim is also affected at a social and emotional level through insults and mocking.

Furthermore, uploading of provocative photos through the media builds up an emotional toll on the victim. Subsequently, it leads to poor performance in school (Family Lives, 2013, p. 1). The friends too who join the bandwagon to mimic the victim openly embarrass them.

Bullying victims are 9 times more likely to commit suicide. A keyboard away doesn’t make it okay.

The psychological effect may lead to self-rejection. On top of that, there is a risk of suicidal ideation – due to social anxiety and stress. This is because one is bullied across multiple platforms or domains on the Internet – and the World Wide Web at large.

A victim of social media bullying:

Gets angry

Is embarrassed

Develops fear

Loses self-confidence and self-esteem (Australian Federal Police, 2004)

In worst-case scenarios, some of those who are bullied online have been reported to make the decision to revenge on the perpetrator.

thextraordinarionly how to curb the social media menace in the internet age pin
Photo credit: FixersUK on Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

What Can You Do About Social Media Bullying Right Now?

You should make the stern decision to either block or delete your online friends who bully you. How about rejecting the friend requests of unknown people who may be potential bullies?

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There are online privacy settings that allow you as a user of some of the social platforms online to control who sees and posts on your profiles. This ensures that your posts, comments, photos, and documents are protected from external interference.

Related readingInstagram Adds Features To Combat Cyberbullying As Studies Link Social Media To Youth Depression, Suicide

In case of a fake online identity, you should report it to the social network customer service as soon as possible. The customer service mandate is to initiate investigations and in due time start a chain of actions that lead to either a shadowban or complete deletion of the profile.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim.

To help the authorities with fair investigations, the ideal scenario would be for you to keep and save any bullying emails or images, Alternatively, take screenshots of any threatening comments. Do not forget to note the time and the date when the message or image was sent to you.

You are encouraged to change your online user identity or password upon the realization of being bullied in any way on any platform on the Internet.

Stop replying to any bullying messages (Nidirect Government Services, 2013, p. 10). Just ignore them.

Nevertheless, report any cyberbullying to your social service provider, or law enforcers, or school, or to your parents, caregivers. and adults (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012, p. 1).

thextraordinarionly ignore all form of bullying messages pin
Photo credit: JoeInSouthernCA on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

Conclusion

Social media bullying remains a significant problem worldwide, and to a great extent among the younger generation.

Due to the general popularity of social media sites, young people can not keep away. Instead, they are exposed to cyberbullying.

The effects of social media bullying can be harmful, painful, and devastating.

Different forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, and homophobia as well as harassment intersect with social media bullying to create disturbing experiences.

If you experience or witness social media bullying of any manner, reach out.

It is the responsibility of each adult to ensure that young children have a safe place to turn to for help.

In conclusion, educate everyone about cyberbullying issues. Clear guidelines on what constitutes bullying should be developed with transparent public participation (Family Lives, 2013).

References

Australian Federal Police, 2004. Cyber-Bullying. AFP, p. 1.

Bullying Statistics – https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

Family Lives, 2013. Bullying UK. – http://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying/

Knighton, L., Alisa, S. & Janice, K., 2011. Cyberbullying: Reality Check. Kids Help Phone: Research Update, pp. 6-15.

Larissa Hirsch Cyberbullying (for Parents)  – https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html

Nidirect Government Services, 2013. Bullying on Social Networks.  Available at – http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/bullying-on-social-networks

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012. Report Cyberbullying. – http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/

11 Facts About Cyber Bullying – https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying

What About You? Are You Fighting Against Social Media Bullying (The Samurai Way)?

Do you think we have left out something very important that should be included in this blog on social media bullying?

What was your most recent encounter with trolls and stalkers on social media? Hod did you respond?

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4 thoughts on “Social Media Bullying Smackdown!”

  1. Social media bullying is a menace especially when power comes into play. For example, a ‘superior other’ or ‘different other’ bullying a perceived ‘inferior other’ or one that does not seem to fit in the crowd, whether a child or an adult.

    The steps some platforms have taken, like Instagram, are a step towards curbing cyber bullying at all levels. This is a great article.

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