- Published: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place in a digital environment. The bully will use social media and text messaging to harass their victim. Cyberbullying is persistent and relentless, making it difficult for the target to escape the persecution.
We typically hear about cyberbulling taking place among kids. Many times, this is a way to torment the sufferer in a way that will escalate the social status of the offender. By belittling someone else, the delinquent feels that this gives them power and raises their self esteem. Many times this activity is a result of jealousy or following along with a crowd in order to fit in.
Cyberbullying is mean.
Adults can experience this aggression as well. Since over 58 percent of the world uses social media, it is an inevitable hazard of connecting with others.
What triggers a cyberbully attack? It can be anything; a picture, a comment, a question. Suppose you post a question asking for an opinion on an area doctor. Or you post a picture of a beautiful sunset. How could these posts possibly stir up negativity?
Well, the trolls are out there. Some badgers are just waiting to pounce on anything to cause disruption. Online harassments can wreak havoc. This can be an attempt to harm the victim's reputation, cause doubt in knowledge or just tear someone down for 'the fun of it'.
Cyberbullying has taken on further definitions due to the specific actions taken.
- Trolls can be stalkers who follow your online activity and then inject themselves into the conversation by stating something inflammatory or upsetting. They attempt to deflect from the original conversation.
- Then there's the Reply Guys. These are men who target women on social media. They will reply to posts by women and respond in an overly friendly way. They are annoying and generally not tormenting but creepy nonetheless.
- Sealioning refers to a commenter who raised questions about the topic in the discussion in such a way as to erode the confidence of the person to whom they are replying. The Sea Lion will demand justification and proof of the comments stated.
You can take actions to defend yourself against these oppositions and annoyances.
- Set strict privacy restrictions on your social media accounts.
- Don't' respond to inappropriate or disturbing behaviors
- Block offenders in text, emails and on social media sites.
- Report to the platform. If you feel threatened by these actions, report the offender to the site.
- Depending on the level of harassment, you may need to consider reporting this activity to law enforcement.
The Internet has allowed everyone to have a voice, with a certain level of anonymity. Choose to leave a positive footstep as you wander through the digital world. The ability to express yourself to such a wide and diverse audience is a privilege and should not be used in a detrimental manner. Be aware, be kind and protect yourself.