Teen Tips: Preventing Online Bullying
Bullying is a difficult problem when kids go to school and ride the bus. Bullying online is a literal epidemic. Thanks to the explosion of online capabilities, it is extremely easy to terrorize another student or kid and do so from a distance. When you can hide behind a computer, you will do things you might otherwise never attempt. For this reason, kids are suffering at an alarming rate. Here are some tips to help prevent online bullying and to take control of your digital world:
Whether you know it or not there are a lot of places online where everyone can see what you post. For example, what you post on Facebook may not come up in a Google search, but what you post on G+ will. That’s why if you are trying to develop a following on Youtube, for example, G+ is your most effective tool. When you want to talk about personal things that you don’t want everyone else to see, look to your Facebook account with private settings.
Check your profile settings on all of your accounts to make sure what you post is only visible to friends. Your profile itself should only be visible to friends, but this can make it difficult for people to find you. If need be, simply give them the URL to your profile.
Be Careful What You Say
In the heat of the moment, you might feel like putting your most passionate thoughts online. Maybe you are lonely or your feelings just got hurt. Your friends may respond in a supportive manner, but not everyone online is your friend. Always assume that unsavory characters can see what you post and are willing to use it against you. Avoid posting things online that can be fodder for creative bullies. It is sad, but we have to be completely aware of everything we post these days. For this reason, wait five minutes before posting anything and read it several times. This will limit the “mistake” posts that can cause you grief.
Skip the Drama
You might think that drama just comes to you naturally. The truth of the matter is that it only comes at all if you let it. Otherwise, there is no drama. If you have friends who are dramatic, avoid their posts so you don’t get sucked into it. You can also avoid drama by posting positive things and never judging someone else online. Things can easily be taken out of context and used against you at any time. A simple statement can be twisted into something horrible. Be smart about what you post.
When you limit the drama online, you are limiting your chances of getting bullied online.
Use common sense online. With every bit of information you give online, ask yourself if this is something you want your enemies to have access to. This includes your address, activities, and other information that could indicate where you are and what your weak points are.