As technology changes, our use of it changes with it. There have been so many great developments in our lives based on technology, it has also made it way easier to torment, harass and be mean to one another. This is a huge issue that is constantly growing and we need to know how to take charge of this — at home and in the workplace.
On June 17th, 2012, The Cybersmile Foundation was formed in order to spread awareness about online harassment and encourage inclusivity instead of abuse and toxicity. Their efforts are very needed, even now, because cyberbullying is still a big issue.
What is a Cyberbully?
A cyberbully is exactly what it sounds like it would be: A bully who takes advantage of the internet setting to bully, harass, torment, and hurt people online. This can be done through instant messaging, online forums, social media, and other online platforms. Cyberbullies aren’t always even one single person and they can also work anonymously which makes it hard to hold them accountable.
Cyberbullying can also be private so people are getting bullied and talked about without their knowledge, and may never know unless someone tells them.
Cyberbullying In The Workplace
While cyberbullying can sound like something that only happens to children, it can happen to just about anyone. In a digital workplace, with tools used like social media, instant messaging and email, cyberbullies can arise. In a survey done on 3,000 people, it was found that 96 percent of them had been bullied in the workplace.
Whether this is workplace gossip between coworkers or a manager sending abusive emails or messages, hostile work environments can be negatively affected by cyberbullying.
What Can Be Done
Employees and employers can take steps to prevent and discourage cyberbullying from taking place in their work environment. A recipient of cyberbullying should not keep quiet about this situation but should stay calm as they stand up for themselves and bring the situation to light. Taking the high road and calmly discussing the issue is an asset when it comes to issues of virtual harassment. If you’re being harassed, collect the evidence and get support from a higher-up by lodging a formal complaint. These emails, posts, or other instances will help expose their toxic behavior. You should also be aware of your rights, especially when it comes to data protection and defamation that your cyberbully could get in serious trouble for.
An employer should always work on making the environment as calming and hospitable as ever. Harassment and cyberbullying should never be taken lately and it should always be a very important issue if it ever arises. There should be a policy prepared so there is a specific protocol to use and this policy should be introduced when training new employees and staff.
For more info on cyberbullying in the workplace, visit the Stop Cyberbullying Day website. Technology should be used in positive ways to provide us more opportunities and should not be used as a weapon against each other.