Back in college days, I was an introvert and often came across as a shy person. I was therefore the most interesting target of bullies in my college. They used to tease me confidently in class while I was giving presentations or outside in college cafeteria. I did not realize back then that not taking an action against them can leave serious effect on me. I started becoming even more shy and stopped going to college parties. It took me quite a few years to get over the frequent incidents of mistreatment. Therefore, it is always advised to stand up to such behavior.
But back in those days, one really needed to be strong and tough to be a bully. So, such incidents were not very common. With the advent of internet and social media, anyone can hide behind the curtain of anonymity and do it. So, cyber bullying or cyber harassment has become far more common and scarier than traditional bullying.
Worry not, we got you covered. Here are five ways to deal with cyber harassment, if you are experiencing it or know someone who is experiencing it:
- Take screenshots and recordings:
If you ever come across any form of cyber bullying which means you either receive an unsolicited Facebook message, or a threatening text or call, or someone uploads your photo or video on internet without your permission, immediately take the screenshot or record the call for evidence to be presented when required. Evidence is most important because you have to present it to the authorities if the matter is serious and needs a stern action.
- Never respond:
Silence is definitely the best answer in this type of situation. Things will surely get worse if you try to respond the person on your own because it can do more harm than good. If a person was decent enough to stop the behavior because you tell them to stop, then they would never have done it in the first place. So, you need to stay calm and silent in such a scenario. Avoid rereading the messages also because it will incite you to respond.
- Block the Cyberbully:
After you have taken screenshots, block the person, so he cannot contact you any further. If he is using your mobile phone number to harass you then call your mobile phone service provider. If he is using social media platform for this purpose then you need to contact their administrators. Doing so, will send that person a message that you are not weak and you won’t tolerate such kind of behavior.
- Call cyber Harassment Help line:
The most effective way to deal with any form of cyber bullying in Pakistan is to call cyber harassment help line. Digital Rights Foundation is an NGO working in Pakistan towards protecting digital rights of citizens. They have a helpline and you can call at their toll free number (0800-39393) and report the case with confidence. You can also send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seek counselling:
Sometimes, due to the intensity of what happens, one feels quite disturbed emotionally. If you feel serious stress that starts interfering with your daily routine, do not hesitate to seek psychological counselling. This is going to help you overcome the issue quite effectively and you can move on within no time.
Have you ever come across cyber bullying in any form, let us know in the comments section and tell others, they are not the only one to have suffered.