Cases of cyberbullying are on a sharp rise in Kenya. It is one of the leading causes of depression, especially among youths.
Cyberbullying happens through gadgets such as phones, tablets, and computers. They use forums such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and SMS, to name but a few.
With the exposee from the Buyer beware Facebook group by one of its former admins, many families have lost a lot of their loved ones as a result of their private information being put in the public limelight. People have been exposed, put to shame, and yet they are not allowed to defend themselves. It is humiliating and the aftermath can be disastrous.
Initially, the group was meant to educate and warn their members about people who take advantage of consumers. But with time, the story changed. The administrators have contributed to bullying people, shaming, and extortion of money from victims.
It is the high time that we all seal this loophole of cyberbullying. Losing one life is losing too many.
Everyone who is using electronic gadgets is exposed to this kind of bullying. How then can you protect yourself when it happens?
- Don not be harsh on yourself because it is likely to lead to stress and shame.
- Realize that those who bully in most cases are frustrated people. They have serious underlying issues, and they want to hurt others.
- Manage your stress because if this is not handled well, it will easily graduate into depression and, finally, suicide.
- Divert your attention to things that you enjoy doing. Turn to your hobbies and passions.
- Seek attention from people who love you and understand your predicament well.
- Take time off from social media.
- Do not respond to any post or message however untrue it may be.
- Do not seek to take revenge as this could aggravate the situation.
- Block the channel of bullying.
- Report to authorities and keep the evidence of the messages or conversation.
The society needs to be educated on how to prevent bullying. For example, the Facebook group Buyer beware, has a membership of over 110,000 people. Shaming and bashing a person in this group is quite an embarrassment. The comments that follow after a post of shaming makes the situation worse.