Jun 07, 2021
What Teens Should Do If They are Being Bullied on WhatsApp?
Are you being bullied online? Are you feeling lonely and depressed? And, Is it affecting your daily activities? If this is the case, it's time to stand up against the cyberbully and take the right action. What to do if a kid is Bullied Online? To deal with bullying and stay safe online, you first need to know about cyberbullying properly. After you know about cyberbullying, you can take action accordingly.
As we all know, there are many benefits to using the internet. However, there are plenty of risks associated with it that you should be aware of.
Cyberbullying, Also known as online bullying, is faced by people from all over the world. Due to the growth of the internet and technology, bullying and harassment cases are rapidly increasing.
Bullying can cause severe health problems such as social anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression. And, preventing cyberbullying can be a difficult task for many victims.
Cyberbullying can occur to people of any age, gender, and ethnicity. But, bullying against teens, especially teenage girls is rapidly increasing. Reports reveal that almost 32% of kids who use the internet have faced some form of bullying. That's almost 1/3 of all the teens online.
Bullying cases among kids are increasing day by day because many of these cases go unreported. According to bullying statistics conducted by PACER, (54-60%) of the bullying cases on kids go unreported.
What exactly is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that happens on the internet. It involves harming, harassing, and threatening the victim, usually through social media, messengers, email, online games, and websites. You can keep an eye on your child’s social media activity to safeguard your child from bullies.
Some of the most common forms of cyber-bullying are:
- Online harassment
- Spreading false rumors
- Trolling the victim
- Posting humiliating photos or videos
- Creating fake profiles that can cause distress to the victim.
Some of the problems caused by cyberbullying are:
- Low self-esteem
- Depression and anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling isolated
How can you prevent yourself from a bully on WhatsApp?
As we know, many bullying cases of teenagers often go unreported when cases go unreported, it comforts the bully. And the victim gets bullied more often. Teenage is the time to learn to stand up for yourself.
Most of the social media applications come with strict rules and policy. Teens should learn about the policy of WhatsApp against online bullies. And also, ways to deal with it.
Before looking for the solution against a bully, Let us understand about WhatsApp. And its features, the benefits of using it, and its drawbacks.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is an instant messaging application that is free to use. It is the most popular online messaging application with over 2 billion users worldwide.
The application can be used to send text messages, photos, visuals, files, and make phone calls. This will save you from buying a texting plan and extra calling minutes.
Here are some features of WhatsApp.
- Text messaging
- Voice messaging
- Group chat
- Voice and video calling
- Send/Receive files and documents.
- End to end encryption.
- Whatsapp on web feature.
Benefits of using WhatsApp are:
- Free to use
- Staying updated with friends and family
- Send and receive personal information
- Sharing live location
- Simple and User friendly
Drawbacks of using WhatsApp are:
- You can become a victim of cyberbullying
- Highly addictive for some users
- Online safety and security concerns
- Internet’s undesirable content for kids
- Chances of miscommunication
Let's dig into some ways how you can prevent yourself from getting bullied on WhatsApp.
Ways to prevent yourself from being bullied on WhatsApp
WhatsApp has some basic controls built-in. These basic controls can help you adjust your profile and protect yourself online. As we all know that prevention is better than cure, teenagers should always try to prevent bullying.
Here are some of the ways you can use to prevent yourself from being bullied on social networking apps like WhatsApp.
Control who sees your profile online.
Teens can use these basic controls to keep your account as private as possible. Don't let strangers view your profile picture, your status, or the posts you share.
Control your contact list and feeds.
Teens, More specifically teen girls, should never add a stranger to their contact lists. WhatsApp lets you choose your contact list, and you have to use this carefully. There are many reports of sexual harassment of teens.
Control what you share
WhatsApp lets you share stories, status, and messages with your contact list. Teens should not share unwanted messages and posts, as it can be used against them. And also, do not share your location using WhatsApp with strangers.
Report issues on WhatsApp
Use the report feature, and report the issue on WhatsApp. Reports by the various users can result in the banning of the account of the bully. If you don't know how to report, follow the steps given below.
- For Android users: Open WhatsApp> tap More Options (Three straight dots on the utmost right) > Settings > Help > Contact us.
- For iPhone users: Open WhatsApp > Settings > Help > Contact us.
Block the bully on WhatsApp
If you are getting insulting and abusing messages on WhatsApp you can simply block the user on WhatsApp. Use the following steps to block the online bully.
Open WhatsApp> tap More Options (Three straight dots on the utmost right)> tap Account> privacy> blocked contacts> tap add > Select the contact you want to block.
Report the contact on WhatsApp.
When you get messages from a new number, you will have the option to block the account immediately. You can also report the account using the following steps
- Open the chats
- Select the contact or group you want to block
- Go to their account information
- Scroll down to the bottom then, click on report contact
Avoid spam and hoaxes
On WhatsApp, you can get several fake messages and hoaxes. You should avoid them because they may contain some malicious software and fake information. Never tap on external links sent by other contacts as you may be the victim of cyberattacks.
Additional ways to prevent yourself from being bullied
If the bully finds other ways to contact you, you should understand that the problem is serious. As a teenager, it's time for you to stand up against the bully using advanced safety measures.
In this case, teens should not hide the issue and take immediate action. You can use the following methods and ensure your online safety.
Take a break from your phone or computer.
Teenagers are highly addicted to their phones or computers. The more you are online, the more chances you are going to get bullied. Teens should limit their internet usage or take a short break from phones and computers.
Delete your account.
Deleting your account can also be helpful. If teens delete their accounts and focus on real life, they will gain more confidence and self-esteem. Deleting your account won't allow the bully to reach out to you.
Save all the texts and messages from the bully.
Saving text messages from the bully will give you an upper hand. You can use their text messages against them. When you can prove that you are being bullied, your parents or the officials can take strict action against them.
Report to a trusted adult.
If the bullying is going out of your hand, you can always ask for help from a trusted adult. You can ask for the help of parents, brothers, school seniors, teachers, and others. They can always help in solving the issues of bullying.
Report serious threats to the police.
When bullying reaches a point that disturbs your mental and physical health, you should immediately report the police. Cybercrime is a serious issue, and the officials will take strict actions against the cyberbully.
Teenagers should not take bullying as a minor problem. It is a major issue and can seriously affect your daily life and relationships.
Taking the safety measures and preventing the bully is always the best option. But if the problem escalates, You should act fast and in the right way.