What is cyberbullying?

Today we all use laptops, smartphones and other devices to access the internet.

The world wide web revolution has changed the way we communicate, search for information, and order goods and services.

There are tons of reasons someone might want to get online. Some may want to go online to research a topic, message a friend or loved one, or watch viral videos on social media.

But not every use of the internet is good and constructive. Some people post offensive, potentially harmful content on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to harm another user.

Bullying, which is viewed as something that happens in the real world and is persistent, undesirable behavior, can now also occur online. This is called cyberbullying.

To understand cyberbullying, you first need to know what bullying is. Bullying is perceived by the victim as aggressive, persistent and undesirable behavior that causes harm. It can take many forms, including name calling, physical abuse, or harassment. It repeats itself and happens over long periods of time.

Bullying doesn’t just happen in school. Workplaces, universities, and other environments can also be places where someone is bullied. They can be overlooked during a job promotion, avoided from social activities, or repeatedly criticized.

Where this type of behavior is shifting into technology and the internet, we call it cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can therefore take many forms. A person can track someone online, known as cyberstalking, and repeatedly send offensive, threatening messages. They can also try to damage your reputation by posting your profile picture as a fake user or by accusing you of failing to do something. They can also threaten to post embarrassing or compromising pictures or videos of you to alert or worry you. Gossip can also be spread on social media websites or you can be excluded from online discussions.

So what do you do if you think you have been a victim of cyberbullying? The best thing to do is to keep a record of what is going on. Take screenshots of messages, posts, or pictures that are used to scold you. Keep a journal of what happened and note the date and time of occurrence. If you want, tell someone you know and trust. This could be a close friend or a family member. Tell them what’s going on and if they think it’s cyberbullying. Ask the person who is doing it to stop. Tell them what they are doing is cyberbullying and that if they don’t stop their behavior, you will get things moving.

Whatever you do, try to stay positive and see the situation for what it is. It is not your fault that someone treated you this way, and you should never blame yourself for their behavior. If you feel that the situation is affecting your mental health, always speak to a health care professional.

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