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Cyber-Bullying: An Unfortunate Reality

Not too long ago, bullying victims could often find some peace after leaving school, or in the security of their own homes. Unfortunately the modern age of unrestrained cell phone and tablet use has put an end to that; bullies now have direct access to their victims no matter where they may go.

Even though cyber bulling is not physical, it can still lead to some very real problems: scarring, emotional trauma, and even suicide are not uncommon. Imagine receiving threatening and humiliating Facebook posts, text messages, and tweets dozens of times a day.  “Nobody likes you”; “You have no friends”; “You are worthless” and many that are much worse. It’s easy for bullies to send these messages, making them a hurtful and effortless time-filler for those with cruel intentions.

No longer do kids have to worry only about being picked on at school, they have to worry about getting picked on at school and a photo or video of the event being posted online for their friends and strangers to see. Then they must face the many posts, messages, and tweets about what a “loser” they are.

Although this epidemic is unlikely to fade away in the near future, there are ways of dealing with cyberbullying that can help you avoid future conflict.

If you are targeted by cyberbullies, it is a good idea not to respond to any messages or posts written about you, no matter how hurtful or fictitious. Provoking a reaction from you is exactly what the cyberbullies hope to achieve, so don’t give them the satisfaction.

If you or someone you love is the victim of cyberbullying:

Report threats: Notify the police of inappropriate sexual messages and threats of harm. In some cases, severe cyberbullying can be prosecuted by the law.

Save the evidence: Keep abusive text messages or take a screenshot of abusive posts and then report them to a trusted adult, such as a family member, teacher, or school counselor. If you don’t report incidents, the cyberbully can often become more aggressive.

Block the Bully: Block the bully’s email address, cell phone number, and delete him or her from your social media contacts (and make sure to set your social media accounts to private). In cases of severe bullying, report the bully’s activities to his or her internet service provider (ISP) or to any web sites used to target you.

Don’t Give Up: Cyberbullying is rarely a one-time event. You are more likely to be attacked several times over a period of time. You may have to be persistent and keep reporting each and every bullying incident to authorities until it stops. Remember this is not anything that you brought upon yourself, and you don’t have to accept it.

Cyberbullying is a problem that no one should have to live with. If you are being cyber bullied it is important to remember that it is not your fault. Don’t dwell on it by reading the message multiple times. Make sure to focus on the good things in your life. No matter who you are, there are many positive things about yourself that you should be proud of. Until there is an end to cyberbullying, we all have to do our part to stand up and let the world know that this behavior is not OK.

Daggett Shuler, Attorneys at Law, principal office is based at 2140 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC  27104.  The firm handles personal injury claims including serious injuries, automobile accidents, workers’ compensation and social security disability.  If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident call Daggett Shuler for a free confidential consultation at 336-724-1234.

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I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston