Being bullied online – known as cyberbullying, happens to a lot of people. Our research has shown that 7 in 10 people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18.
At Ditch the Label, cyberbullying is defined as the use of digital technologies with an intent to offend, humiliate, threaten, harass or abuse somebody.
Dealing with cyberbullying in an online game can be very upsetting and distressing and we are here to help you through all types of bullying. We have created a short list of tips that you should follow if you are receiving abuse in an online game.
9 Tips If You Are Being Cyberbullied:
1. Do not respond to the cyberbullying with aggression
Responding aggressively can make the situation way worse than it needs to be. You could try communicating calmly with the person who is doing the cyberbullying. It is important to challenge the behaviour and not the person. For example, instead of saying “you’re upsetting me”, you could say “what you said/did has upset me”. If the bullying still persists after taking this action, see point 2.
2. Block and report the person that is cyberbullying you
You can do this at any time and these options are there to support you. Speak to other gamers and see if you can activate an option to mute/disable audio chat and turn off the text that’s on the screen.
3. Do not give out personal information online
Keep your privacy settings high and do not give your personal details (e.g. phone number and address) to someone online. This is because they may not be who they say they are, and these kinds of people can be dangerous and unsafe.
Also, if someone is threatening you and you think your safety is at risk, contact the police or a trusted adult immediately.
4. Try not to let the cyberbullying upset you
The person who is cyberbullying you has an issue, not you. It is not your fault that you are experiencing the bullying. People don’t experience bullying because of their gender identity, sexuality, race, appearance, disability or any other factor, it is because of the attitude towards the factor. You do not have to change.
5. Do not seek revenge
If you seek revenge or abuse the person back, then you could be bullying them which can be upsetting. Try to ignore it and report the person.
6. Stay close to your friends and family
Many people who experience bullying stop talking to their friends and family as much and do not spend as much time with them. This is not good as it stops you from having the support you need during this time.
Try to keep things as normal as possible and still do the things you usually do.
7. Tell Someone About It
Even if you don’t want to officially report the bullying, it is important to tell someone about it. It can be very upsetting to experience bullying, and you will feel worse if you are lonely while it is happening and not supported by others.
By talking to people about it, this will help to make you feel better.
It is therefore incredibly important that you tell somebody you trust about what you are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label.
Recording all incidents is very important. This provides proof of what happened if you decide to report it. You can do this by making a note of the time, date, what was said, and who said it. Also, take screenshots if you can!
9. Have a break from gaming
Spending too much time gaming can negatively impact our health, especially if you are being bullied. It can also make you very tired and stressed.
By taking a break from gaming, you are removing the stress of the game, especially if you are being bullied.
Also, it is important to take good care of your mind and physical health. This can reduce stress and anxiety caused by cyberbullying. You can do this by eating a healthy diet, exercising, sleeping well, and spending time with your friends and family
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