My friend has recently been a victim of cyberbullying and wants advice on recovering from this situation.
Dear Sadly Cyberbullied,
We are living in an era of instant and diverse communication. Social media is the outlet to connect individuals around the world to either inform, promote or troll. For those who may not know, a troll is someone who purposely ignites aggravation on the internet by posting inflammatory, digressive, extraneous or off-topic messages. Recognize and avoid these individuals.
Trolls are simply that, trolls. They do not exist beyond a username, password and profile picture (although, most of them do not have one). Trolls assemble their personality through internet memes and popular lingo. These individuals have nothing better to do than sit around all day and be controversial.
Now, for your friend, being bullied virtually can be very overwhelming, because if the bullying is entertaining enough, then there is a chance of it going viral (this does not sound like I am helping, but there is a point). A piece of information that is beneficial for anyone that has fallen victim to cyberbullying is that you are allowed to sue. The crime of harassment (which can include stalking, committing hate crimes and cyberbullying) occurs when one person acts in a way designed to annoy, provoke, threaten or otherwise cause another person emotional distress. State laws and some federal laws identify multiple ways in which harassment can be committed, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer, a website which answers questions about any type of legal concern. If the internet can have a laugh at your expense, you might as well make some money.
Separate yourself from the identity you have created via social media. At the end of the day, you are allowed to turn off your phone or close your computer. This is not me being insensitive or doubtful of the existence of cyberbullying. I do believe it is real because I have seen its permanent consequences. This is why we have wonderful features such as blocking users or making your page private if you want to filter out who is allowed to view your content.
Do not let strangers on the internet suck the fun out of social media because, although it is used for so many progressive things, it can be the host for a lot of regressive content as well. Sometimes it is good to take a break from social media and maybe, for now, that is a good first step.
Remember, it is easy to act tough behind a keyboard.
Don’t be a troll,