This article appears in the June 26 issue of Entertainment Weekly.
The following are some of the tips we have picked up from a lot of people over the years.
If you’ve been in a cyberbullied situation, there’s no better way to deal with it than by talking to someone who knows how to help.
Don’t be scared to ask someone to help: “We’re not saying you can’t talk to someone,” says one cyberbullagger, but there’s a difference between saying, “I need to talk to you,” and saying, in the most blunt terms, “Tell me what you need.”
If you can, use a form of text messaging that’s open to the public.
The best way to get a handle on someone’s behaviour is to ask them to leave a message for you.
Then you can follow up later, when you’ve got a clearer picture of what happened and how it might affect you.
And be sure to follow up with someone who has the power to intervene: you can make your own calls or write letters.
Don: “Can you please give me your contact details so I can give you a call?”
She: “Yes, I can do that.”
She: What’s your number?
She: Yeah, call me if you need help.
“Don: She: Is that OK?
She goes silent for a few seconds, then says, “Thank you.”
Don walks away.
She: I thought that was super helpful.
She turns off her phone.
Don walks out of the house.
She calls him.
She says, I thought it was super awesome that you gave me a call.
Don hangs up.
She texts: I’m so happy.
He hangs up, and calls her back.
She hangs up again.
He doesn’t respond.
Don calls her again.
She responds: I love you, I’m sorry.
She follows up, asking if she could come to the house again.
Don replies: Can you come in?
She says no.
She doesn’t call again.
After several weeks of this, the bullying has subsided.
She goes to a different social networking site and tells people to be careful, especially in public spaces.
Don can’t get ahold of her again, she tells him.
He says, Well, I don’t really care about you anymore.
Don says, You don’t care about me anymore?
I can’t imagine that.
He then hangs up on her.
Don’s friend goes on to report him for cyberbulling.
Don and her friend have a lot in common, including their experiences with being bullied in schools.
They both feel the need to keep their emotions in check.
So they decide to go to school to get an education, not to have it be a place where they feel judged.
They say to each other: If you feel that way, why don’t you just stay home and not go to class?
She’s surprised to find that she’s getting bullied.
Don thinks it’s just a sign that they don’t have friends.
They decide to keep going to school, but not for a year.
Don tells her to just stop talking to him and she’s upset, but she tells her that she can handle it.
Don then says that he doesn’t really want to talk about the bullying anymore.
She asks him why.
He tells her, I just want to have a good time and hang out with friends.
Don is not happy about this and calls him out on it.
He replies: What about you, my friend?
I just don’t want you to be bullied anymore.
You have nothing to worry about.
Don continues: You’re the one who doesn’t want to be called a bully.
You don’ think that I’m going to stop bullying you, and you don’t know me, so I don’ want you worrying about me.
She gets upset and says: That’s it, that’s it.
That’s the end of it.
I can stop talking about it now.
I don’,t care anymore.
I’ve got nothing to talk ’bout.
Don asks her what she wants.
She tells him she wants to stop talking.
He asks if she wants an apology.
She’s not sure she wants one, but says that she doesn’t think that he’s a bully anymore.
But, he adds, you can try and be more honest with me.
Don, who doesn’t know her, says that if she’s still going to be a victim he can call her a bully, but he’s not going to give one.
So she asks him, what about me?
He replies that she should feel free to ask.
She tries to find a way to say she doesn’ want to do that, but after a while she decides to stop.
Don also tells her not to go after her friends.
But she says that isn’t really possible