Remember when we came up with these statements?
Cyberbullying won’t go away if we do nothing about it.
What are you waiting for? Are you going to wait around for more sadness or another tragedy before doing something about it?
It’s up to us to make a stand and say we not going to do nothing while someone else gets hurt.
Well now it’s time to walk the talk by recording your own message on the topic and sharing it. Do this with your friends, your enemies, your family, or your class. The more we get the better.
Don’t worry about producing something worthy of Speilberg. Hearing your voice is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter if you use a using a webcam, tablet, laptop, camera or phone; use whatever you have to record a statement. Then go to the “Get Involved” page on watchyourspace.ie and post a link to your content or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As Safer Internet Day is getting close, we’d really appreciate it if you guys could get us some videos as soon as you can – maybe by the middle of next week. You’ve been unbelievable so far – and your ideas have contributed to what we think is one of the best SID campaigns around – but we need a final push to make sure that #SID2013 is one to remember.
If you are looking for a few pointers:
Shorter is better than longer – try to keep it to less than 90 seconds.
Keep it simple: imagine you are talking to a friend. Don’t use complex words where simple ones will do. Be yourself
It is an idea to put together a script or at least give yourself a few pointers on what you are going to say.
We’ll try to include all the videos on the site. So don’t be disappointed if it’s not on there straight away, we’ll add it at some stage.
We will also share it on our social media channels, so don’t send us anything unless you are happy for us to share it widely.
Ideas for what to say:
As you know, this year’s campaign is centred on encouraging bystanders to intervene positively in online bullying situations. Under the banner of Watch Your Space, with the call to action of “It’s Up To Us” #Up2Us.
In your piece, you can use anecdotes of situations you are aware of where online bullying has been resolved positively and where bystanders have had a role. However, be sure that people are not identifiable, and try not to be too personal.
Below are some of the key tips for the campaign which we will be promoting. It’s advisable to use these when you are coming up with your script. You should be creative too, come up with your own twist on these and try to steer clear of using these word for word as it will lend credibility to the message.
Don’t forget that your audience will be your peers and people younger than you. We want to encourage everyone to connect with respect and change their attitudes to online bullying. You are not speaking to victims or to bullies, but to the majority of people who can bring about a new attitude and atmosphere where online bullying does not succeed.
And remember to finish off your piece strongly. For example, you can use the campaign call to action: “It’s Up To Us”. The idea is, is that you encourage others to do the same and to pledge their support for the campaign.
Tips for witnesses to online bullying:
Bullying or Banter? Without body language and facial expressions, it’s often hard to know the difference. What might be intended as a bit of banter can often cause offence and vice-versa. As a rule, if you see something on screen that you think might cause someone to lose confidence, get upset, angry or fearful, it’s likely that you are witnessing cyberbullying.
Just Ask: Asking for help requires strength. If you see someone who is isolated or having a hard time, you can make a difference by directing them to the reputable organisations out there who provide advice and support. Check out WatchYourSpace.ie for a whole host of useful links to groups like Aware, Bodywhys, Childline, SpunOut, Headsup.ie, BeLong, the Samartians and more.
Report incidents: Whether it’s online, at home, or in school, it’s your responsibility to report bullying incidents when you see them. You might not always be able to fix it, but you can always do the right thing – and that means reporting. First off, you can report to websites like Twitter and Facebook. They take these reports seriously, remove anything abusive and even cancel accounts when warnings are ignored. Remember, they never reveal the identity of the person making the report. It doesn’t stop there. Most schools and clubs have ways for you to report incidents, find out what they are and use them when you need to. Serious cases, where someone is at risk of harm, should be reported to the Gardaí.
Tell an adult: Talking to someone you trust is usually the first step in dealing with any issue. If a friend confides in you, encourage them to tell and adult they can trust such as a Parent or Teacher. Research has shown that it almost always takes an adult to stop bullying.
Share your Know-how? Check out WatchYourSpace.ie for video tutorials on how to take screengrabs (settings a skill which will help you make a record of cyberbullying behaviour), report incidents to popular websites, and how to configure your privacy. Once you’ve become an expert, show someone else how to do it.
Dislike: Young people have found themselves in trouble for simply liking, sharing, or commenting on content on Facebook, Tumblr or for following and retweeting messages from a fake Twitter accounts. Don’t put up with bullying; leave, unlike and unfollow it.
Do IT Yourself. Bullying won’t go away if we do nothing! But it can if you do something. It’s up to us to shape the spaces that we spend our time in. Let’s make them positive and friendly. Often the more people who see something happen, the less likely each individual is to do something about it. Don’t leave it up to someone else to make a difference.
Be Counted: A lot of bullying online is anonymous and this can make it especially difficult to deal with. Imagine how it feels to go into school when everyone you meet could be the person harassing you. It’s easy to withdraw from friends and be suspicious of everyone. If you know someone in this situation, reach out to them and tell them that you are on their side.
Do it Now. Online bullying can escalate very quickly; people experiencing it can be completely overwhelmed by it. Sometimes just one message of support is enough to change the tide. Your offer of support can be the light at the end of the tunnel. What are you waiting for?
Be a Hero not a Martyr. You can make a big difference without putting yourself at risk. It’s very admirable to stand up to bullying but directly confronting someone who is being aggressive or hurtful is not always the best way to go about it.
Who’s the Bully? Bullying is never right and you shouldn’t ever accept it. But don’t cross the line and bully the bully. It’s ok to point out that cyberbullying should stop, but it’s not ok to start sending abusive message to the bully. Put yourself in the shoes of a victim of online bullying. Imagine how it would feel to face constant online harassment and abuse alone. Now imagine what it would be like to have your peers support you. Be a hero, not a martyr. Fueling the fire of bullying by taking part in bullying will just make the problem worse. You can be assertive and positive and it always works best. ‘Nuff said.