Cyberbullying can happen to anyone, at anytime irrespective of the age. To begin, what is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is the electronic posting of mean spirited messages about a person often done anonymously.
As said earlier that cyberbullying can happen to anyone, a lot of articles on cyberbullying have been associated with children and teenagers alone neglecting the adults. Much has been said about cyberbullying by psychologist, organizations, public figures as well as other concerned parties. However, we fail to realise that adults are also victims of this acts.
If you think adults being victim is overrated, take a look at the comments sections under the social media posts of celebrities, athletes or even politicians. You might say they should be able to handle it just because they are prominent. One thing we need to realise is that criticism is different from cyberbullying.
Over the years, individuals have had to battle with anxiety, depression or even leave social media platforms as a result of the encounter(s) they have had. The Pew Research Center study on Online Harassment reveals that approximately four in ten US adults have personally experienced online harassment with a quarter of the respondents finding their experience very or extremely upsetting.
Cyberbullying is associated with considerable negative mental health and psychological consequences in children and young people make it a serious public health concern.
Proactive and Reactive Measures
When kids and teens are cyberbullied, they are advised to turn to adults for help but who can adults turn to for help? What can adults do?
Surprisingly, adults need to seek help from adults also such friends, family, co-workers or authorities. Cyberbullying is considered a crime in many parts of the developed world today. However, to avoid involvement of authorities, social media platforms have tools in place to deal with any kind of abuse. For instance on Facebook you can report offensive comments, posts profiles; the last can be blocked as well. The social media giant also offers pages dedicated to help with abusive behavior and bullying harassment on its platform. The same applies to online gaming platforms.
Cyberbullying is wrong and it is never victim’s fault: nobody should be treated harshly and attacked, no matter who they are, where they come from, or who they love – no one under any circumstances, period. If anything of this sort happens to you, do not keep it bottled up inside; rather, seek help. Talk to your friends, family members, human resources officials, or even health professionals. They are there to help you find solutions to your problem. Also, keep evidence of cyberbullying or online abuse as a proof should you decide to report it.