“You bastard!”, “You are a fascist nazi!”, “I hate stupid people like you” he read on his Facebook inbox messages coming from many people. There were more offensive messages, even on the group he used to participate in. This is an example of cyber bullying.

Everything happens too fast on the Internet. We can see viral images coming and going in a few hours. Unfortunately, not only funny cat pictures go viral, so does bullying. At the end of the day they both have something in common: They are emotions. I honestly prefer cat pictures anyway.

Browsing the Internet is similar to driving a car, in the sense people feel protected behind their screens and are very brave, this happens because we are not seeing the other people’s eyes, which dehumanizes relations and makes many people act with no emotions. I am not a psychologist, but I’ve been behind screens time enough to realize it.

There are a few types of cyber bullying:

  • Harassment: Sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages. Humiliating comments on public messages, pictures and in chat rooms. My lack of skills at playing online videogames usually makes me an easy target for this kind of cyber bullying. I personally don’t care and find the “mute messages” option useful.
  • Denigration: Sending fake information to damage somebody else’s public image.
  • Flaming: Using extreme and offensive language to get into online arguments and fights.
  • Impersonation: When someone hacks into someone’s email or social network account in order to publish fake, embarrassing, material that will damage someone else’s image.
  • Outing and Trickery: Someone shares personal information about another, or trick someone into revealing secrets that will be forwarded to others. Gossiping, as old as life itself, can use new technologies to spread gossip faster.
  • Cyber Stalking: Sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, or intimidation can be considered as cyber stalking.
  • Exclusion: When others intentionally leave others out of a group, online apps, gaming sites or any other virtual meeting point. Unfortunately, this is a very common way of cyberbullying.

If you are suffering from any kind of cyber bullying, remember to keep calm, breathe deeply, and never show your emotions. This is not showing your annoyance, as the others look for your negative reactions. Just ignore them, recall anything you could post could damage your digital foot printing with undesired effects. Use the blocking options available on the social networks or wherever you are receiving these attacks. Keeping a personal diary of what’s going on with detailed descriptions and screenshots, these can help you to report the situation.

If you think it can damage your image, use the social network report options, ask your parents for help if you are under 18, and report it to your local police station.

Cyber bullying makes real people on the other side of the screen suffer. and it’s a very fast way to ruin your digital foot print. Let’s use the cyber space to communicate in harmony and help each other.

Keep it secure!