Cyber bullying is a problem we think only happens to grade school to college students.
It’s not a problem we think that happens to adults.
Next time you are with friends, ask them if they have ever received a threatening text, a horrible post on their Facebook page or an Instagram about your business.
Chances are they have.
One reason adults don’t discuss cyber bullying is because they are embarrassed. They think the bullying ends with school. They are baffled when it happens in the workplace, on social media sites or even the local mom’s club.
Bullies like to find someone they can intimidate or harass. They like have the power of watching a person squirm.
Here’s first key in handling a cyberbully – they only have power if you allow it. When bullying happens face to face, you know who the bully is. Unfortunately, a cyberbully can hid behind his or her screen. He can create a fake name. He can say whatever he wants without fear because he figures he won’t be caught.
Here are some tips to remember if you are the victim of cyber bullying:
- Keep the evidence. When you receive a negative message about your business on a Facebook post or a picture on Instagram, the first thought is to delete it so no one else sees it. Before you do that, take a picture of the message or print it. You need to collect evidence against the bully.
- It’s human nature. When someone says something mean to you, the first thing you want to do is say something right back. If a customer writes mean comments about your restaurant on Facebook, you may want to retaliate about their flower shop. Don’t. Take the high ground. You can ask the bully to stop but don’t do more than that. And if there ever is a point you feel unsafe, contact an authority and present the evidence you have collected.
- Just like a bully tries to humiliate, scare or embarrass his victim, the same is true with a cyberbully. The advantage a cyberbully has is he or she can hid behind a fake name. A cyberbully can use social media to push an idea or attack a religious or other group. Sometimes it can start with you posting that you don’t like cats and escalate to a huge fight with nasty names being called. Remember whenever you type something, you don’t have to hit send. Think and breathe before you send anything you may later regret. The truth is when trying to protect yourself from a cyberbully is that you may become the bully