Wednesday, 27 August 2014

August Awareness | Cyberbullying/Harassment

Hello my Leaves,

How are you today?

We've made it to the final August Awareness post! (Sunday's post will be August Favourites!) The final post for this month's theme is about cyberbullying/harassment.

This isn't really a topic that I experienced in my 'growing' years, partly because I didn't have much access to the Internet until I went to Uni. I do know that this is becoming a growing issue and that it is gathering pace as more and more kids are opening up and beginning to talk about it. That being said, I think it is important to recognise that cyberbullying/harassment isn't something that only children are subject to. There are a lot of 'grown ups' that have to face heavy, demeaning criticism too. Look at those on Youtube. They receive so many threats and negative comments just because people can post them. They could talk about something amazing and there will still be people out there who see it as fun to bring someone down. I find it both baffling and ridiculous that people get glee out of this and it really makes me question their lives and upbringing if they get pleasure out of making people feel bad.

So, what is Cyberbullying/Cyber Harassment?

Cyberbullying/Harassment (to the bets of my knowledge) is when someone is tormented, threatened and/or embarrassed by another person via the internet and its plethora of sites. Cyberbullying is when the circumstances involve minors. Cyber harassment is when Adults get involved. The results of this activity in the worst cases has led to death, some by suicide, of the victims. The horrible reality is that, as long as someone can access the internet, there really is no limit to what they can do. Some people try to gain your trust and then share your secrets with the internet to make you feel humiliated. Others persistently give you negative comments to bring you down and make you feel worthless. They can hack your network sites and insult people you know and love to alienate you. It really is limitless, as long as it can be imagined, it can probably happen.

How to deal with Cyberbullying/Cyber Harassment.

Whilst looking at ways to deal with this kind of harassment I cam across a site led by Wired Safety called STOP Cyberbullying. It begins with a presentation intro which gives you a brief overview of cyberbullying in action. Their dominant advice for the campaign is Stop. Block. Tell. and I couldn't agree with them anymore. Don't respond to the instigators. Where possible block them from your sites. Finally, tell someone! The more you remain silent, the more damage they can do as they are fuelled by you not speaking out.

If you are a parent, keep track of what your children do when they're online. If they seem upset by texts or after they've been on the computer, investigate. Encourage them to talk about anything that bothers them and if you do see something, take initiative. Don't assume it's kids being kids or that it will blow over soon. If your child has a webpage then check it out. See what comments they are getting. With things like this, I don't think you can be overly cautious. For the sake of annoying your child you have also made sure that they aren't be targeted for any form of bullying. Children hide things, it's a fact, but you need to make sure that they know you are there no matter how embarrassing the situation or how long they've been silent.

Remember, you know you better than anyone else. Don't take on board the negatives that people give.  You should be a believer in yourself because the rest of the world doesn't and shouldn't matter!

On that note I'm going to end the last post of August Awareness.

Have you enjoyed August Awareness? Comment below which post was your favourite :) As always feel free to subscribe to my blog and my google + page :) You can also find me on twitter @chezautumn

Make your own choices!

Toodlepip x