Welcome back to That’s What Pea Said… This week is Anti Bullying Week and so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you some common online bullying behaviours… Bullying can happen to anyone; anywhere at any age and if you feel that you are being bullied it is important to speak out and seek support.
Common online bullying behaviours include:
☞ Exclusion is a bullying behaviour which can take place online and offline and studies show that being ignored online can feel just as devastating as being ignored offline. If you are feeling excluded, it is important to take a moment to put the situation into perspective and let the feelings pass: whether it is a one-off situation or is ongoing, you can still re-group and find the motivation to move forwards, boost your self confidence and find yourself a new group of friends. In some cases, you may feel that you want to discuss how you are feeling with the individual or group you feel excluded from, however it is equally understandable that you may choose to take control and walk away. Use this as an opportunity to re-visit your boundaries.
☞ Gossip is another form of bullying which can take place both online and offline, however when it takes place online there are additional consequences as gossip can travel at rocket speed and those partaking have the option to take screen grabs and perpetuate the cycle. Furthermore, unless removed information may remain on the internet indefinitely which can lead to further distress. Gossiping is cruel and unnecessary, so before you speak/type ask yourself: is it true, is it kind and is what I’m saying necessary?
☞ Online Harassment is a method of bullying which is instigated via the internet and using mobile devices. Online harassment has the potential to cause social and psychological impact to victims and online bullying behaviours may include the following: sending insults and threatening messages, posting unkind and inappropriate messages online, sharing someones personal or embarrassing information online, creating hate sites to isolate individuals, sharing unflattering and personal images (including nudes), impersonating an individuals identity to represent them in a negative manner and for not strategic reason, continuously attacking them in online gaming.
☞ Subtweeting is a more recent and underhand method of online bullying/harassment. Subtweeting, predominantly prevalent within school children and teenagers. Subtweeting is the internet equivalent of talking about someone behind their back. The development of subtweeting is one of the more insidious digital trends started within recent years. Subtweeting is a common method of harassment used when the perpetrator/bully has been told not to contact the victim directly or to refer to them in an identifiable manner.
☞ Cyberstalking/Digitally Enabled Stalking: This variation of stalking, is a criminal offence which involves an individual using the internet or other electronic means to stalk and/or harass an individual or group of people. These behaviours include (but are not limited to): false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. Additional behaviours include monitoring, identity theft (see above) threats and seeking personal information which is often accompanied by offline stalking… If you feel that you are using social media in this manner and feel unable to stop, it’s important to reach out and seek help, before behaviours escalate.
If you feel you are at risk, contact the police.
☞ Outing & Trickery are predominently carried out online. This behaviour is when someone shares personal information about another or actively tricks someone into revealing secrets and personal info which they use with malicious and sinister intent. Individuals may also do this with private images and videos too.
☞ Hacking and Impersonation: This behaviour is when someone hacks into someone’s email or social networking account and proceeds to use the person’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others. The making up of fake profiles on social network sites, apps and online are common place and it can be really difficult to get them revoked and deactivated.
☞ Cyber Threats: If someone is is making threats on the internet thwy could be committing a criminal offence. It’s against the law in the UK to use the phone system, which includes the internet, to cause alarm or distress. It may also be against the 1997 Harassment Act. If threats are made against you then it is important that you confide in someone you trust and that you make a complaint to the police. Please be sure to take screen-grabs of all treats which are made as these may be required as evidence.
If you feel that somebody is using the internet to harass/bully you, please contact the police…
I appreciate that this is a senstive topic for many.
If you are struggling, here are some numbers you can contact for support.
📞 @samaritanscharity 116 123
☎️ @youngmindsuk text YM to 85258
📞 @anxietyukofficial 03444 775 774
☎️ @ocdukcharity 03332 127890
📞 @papyrus_uk 0800 068 41 41
📲 @crisistextline for 24/7 text support