10 February 2022

Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it

“What would you like to know about cyberbullying?” We posed this question to young people and received thousands of responses from around the world.  We brought together UNICEF specialists, international cyberbullying and child protection experts, and teamed up with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to answer the questions and give their advice on…, The top 10 questions on cyberbullying, 1. Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying? 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying? 3. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important? 4. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I approach them? 5. How can I help my…, 1. Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying?, UNICEF:  All friends joke around with each other, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is just having fun or trying to hurt you, especially online. Sometimes they’ll laugh it off with a “just kidding,” or “don’t take it so seriously.”  But if you feel hurt or think others are laughing at you instead of with you, then the joke has gone too…, 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying?, UNICEF: When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways: Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry  Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love…, 3. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important?, UNICEF:  If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. In your school you can reach out to a counsellor, the sports coach or your favourite teacher. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know,  search for a helpline in…, 4. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I approach them?, UNICEF:  If you are experiencing cyberbullying, speaking to a trusted adult – someone you feel safe talking to – is one of the most important first steps you can take. Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. Choose a time to talk when you know you have their full attention. Explain how…, 5. How can I help my friends report a case of cyberbullying especially if they don’t want to do it?, UNICEF:  Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. If you see this happening to someone you know, try to offer support. It is important to listen to your friend. Why don’t they want to report being cyberbullied? How are they feeling? Let them know that they don’t have to formally report anything, but it’s crucial to talk to someone who might be…, 6. How do we stop cyberbullying without giving up access to the Internet?, UNICEF:  Being online has so many benefits. However, like many things in life, it comes with risks that you need to protect against. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. You did nothing wrong, so…, 7. How do I prevent my personal information from being used to manipulate or humiliate me on social media?, UNICEF:  Think twice before posting or sharing anything online – it may stay online forever and could be used to harm you later. Don’t give out personal details such as your address, telephone number or the name of your school. Learn about the privacy settings of your favourite social media apps. Here are some actions you can take on many of them…, 8. Is there a punishment for cyberbullying?, UNICEF:  Most schools take bullying seriously and will take action against it. If you are being cyberbullied by other students, report it to your school. People who are victims of any form of violence, including bullying and cyberbullying, have a right to justice and to have the offender held accountable. Laws against bullying, particularly on…, 9. Internet companies don’t seem to care about online bullying and harassment. Are they being held responsible?, UNICEF:  Internet companies are increasingly paying attention to the issue of online bullying. Many of them are introducing ways to address it and  better protect their users  with  new tools, guidance and ways to report  online abuse. But it is true that even more is needed. Many young people experience cyberbullying every day. Some face extreme…, 10. Are there any online anti-bullying tools for children or young people?, UNICEF:  Each social platform offers different tools (see available ones below) that allow you to restrict who can comment on or view your posts or who can connect automatically as a friend, and to report cases of bullying. Many of them involve simple steps to block, mute or report cyberbullying. We encourage you to explore them. Social media…
10 February 2022

5 ways to better mental health online

Being online can present lots of great opportunities to connect, learn and share what’s important to you, but it comes with challenges too. If social media or the internet has ever made you feel stressed, envious or lonely, or experience feelings of lower self‑esteem or social anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Here are five tips on how to look…, 1. Avoid doomscrolling, Pay close attention to how social media and online content is influencing your emotions, thoughts or actions. How does it make you feel? Does reading the news make you feel informed or stressed? Does seeing photos of your friends at a party make you feel good or envious? Do you check your phone first thing in the morning to learn about breaking…, 2. Be mindful, There are loads of great online tools and content that can help support all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. From meditation apps to help you relax and focus, to platforms that help you develop your sense of identity and self, stay connected and support one another. There are lots of great online learning tools where you can try something…, 3. Protect yourself and others online, Check the privacy settings on all your social media profiles. Keep webcams covered when not in use. Be careful when signing up to apps and services online – especially providing your full name, address or photo. If you are concerned about something you have seen or experienced online, you should talk to a trusted adult like a parent or teacher,…, 4. Choose kindness, Use social media for good, by sharing positive and supportive content and messages with your friends, family and classmates. For example, you could reach out to let someone know you’re thinking of them or add a positive comment on a post they shared. If you find yourself responding to a message or post with something negative, pause and consider…, 5. Stay present and connected IRL, The lines between the online and offline worlds can feel increasingly blurred, making it hard to live in the present moment and satisfy our innate need for human contact. Do you ever find yourself interrupting what you are doing so you can post it on social media, or scrolling through your friend’s stories rather than calling or meeting up to see…