While going into cyberspace can be fun, some online experiences may make you feel embarrassed, upset, depressed, or afraid. It can happen to anyone—even when going into cyberspace sitting comfortably inside your own home or favorite library. When it happens, it’s best to take action.
Whether bullies are face to face or in cyberspace, they feel powerful when they bother other people. They may use hurtful words or threaten. Often the cyberbully is someone you know face to face. Perhaps the bully ﬁnds it easier to be mean and nasty online, when he or she can’t see the other person’s reaction. Online or off, bullying is meant to make you feel uncomfortable. Either way, it’s upsetting.
Bullying should not be tolerated, whether in school or in cyberspace. Trust your uncomfortable feelings—they mean something is wrong. Here is what to do about it.
· Sign off the computer.
· Leave the chat room or Web site.
· Block the bully’s messages.
· Save and print the bully’s e-mails or your message logs.
· Never reply to a bully.
· Talk over how to handle the situation with a friend.
· Report your experience to a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult.
If you witness cyberbullying, you can help by supporting the target and letting the bullies know that their behavior is not acceptable.
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