Bullying on Instagram and how to avoid it.

"The world has become a bit of a bullying place and we become victims if we don't set boundaries." - Paul Huljich

Today living and being free is very hard, especially when around you are people who are waiting for your bad move, who are looking at everything you do and who are criticizing you no matter how good you are. Nowadays people aren’t friendly, even if you find a friend, you must be very careful having him near you. 

What is Bullying? 

Bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior which is characterized by the following three criteria: 

  • hostile intent
  • imbalance of power,
  • repetition over a period of time

Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

What is Cyberbullying ?

Cyberbullying is a type of bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can appear on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. Cyberbullying also includes any behavior aimed at scaring, engaging or shaming to those who are targeted. This type of bullying can be manifested as below : 

  • spreading lies about or posting embarrassing photos of someone on social media
  • sending hurtful messages or threats via messaging platforms
  • impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf

Usually, face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other, however , cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop them.

What is Instagram Bullying?

Instagram became one of the most used social media platforms with more than 1 billion users per day. Instagram allows people to chat, share photos, meet new people and stay in touch with friends. But when those friendships go south, the app becomes an easy way to displeasure. When you are a popular person with thousands of Instagram Followers it is getting easier to be bullied. People can be jealous of the quantity of Instagram Likes, Instagram Views, Instagram Comments but first of all, the quantity of the Instagram Followers

We all want to be popular, but first of all, we must think about the consequences of popularity . 

How do I know if I have been bullied?

All friends are joking around us, but sometimes it’s getting hard to identify if this is a good joke or not. Usually people do not think that their jokes might hurt someone, even if that person is close to you, it doesn’t mean that they might not get hurt. If anyone joked on you and their laugh made you feel hurt or offended, even if you are telling them to stop, it's definitely bullying. 

What are the consequences of cyberbullying?

When the bullying happens online it makes you feel like you have been attacked everywhere and it hurts a lot, even if it is not a physical force. This type of feeling can wake up depression and guilt. 

The consequences of cyberbullying can manifest in different ways: 

  • Mentally: feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, 
  • Emotionally: feeling ashamed or losing interests in the thinks you love
  • Physically: tired, no sleep, stomachache, headache 

How to approach cyberbullying?

If you are experiencing cyberbullying, you must speak with a trustable person , someone you feel safe talking to. This is the most important step you must do, you need to speak to free yourself. 

Rather be to talk with your parents, however, it is not that easy for everyone to do this. Try to use a time when you have their full attention, explain to them how serious the problem is for you and how much you need their help. Two heads are always better than one. If you are still unsure about what to do, consider reaching out to other trusted people. There are often more people who care about you and are willing to help than you might think. If you have a lot of Instagram followers, you can talk to them, for sure there will be someone who will help you with.

Cyberbullying on Instagram

Keeping Instagram a safe place is very important, this way people can feel free and comfortable to share their posts with everyone, to get more insta-likes and insta-followers. However, cyberbullying can happen and give them a bad experience while using Instagram, that's why Instagram committed to leading the fight against cyberbullying. 

They are doing this fight in two different main ways:

  • using technology to prevent people from experiencing and seeing bullying. For example, people can turn on a setting that uses artificial intelligence technology to automatically filter and hide bullying comments intended to harass or upset people.
  • working to encourage positive behavior and interactions by giving people tools to customize their experience on Instagram.

How to avoid cyberbullying on Instagram?

Be careful of what you are trying to post or share with your insta-followers, think twice before you do, this might stay online forever and later it can be used to harm you. Do not give out any personal details, such as: phone number, email address, home address etc.

Try to use and track your privacy settings as much as you can. For example:

  • you can decide who of your insta-followers can see your profile, send you direct messages or comment on your posts by adjusting your account privacy settings. 
  • You can report hurtful insta-comments, messages and photos and request they be removed.
  • besides ‘unfollow’, you can completely block people to stop them from seeing your profile or contacting you.
  • you can also choose to have insta-comments by certain people to appear only to them without completely blocking them.
  • you can delete posts on your profile or hide them from specific people from your Instagram followers.

An important thing that you can do is always report , even , we know that not anyone can do this. But you need to remember that it’s never okay to bully anyone! Reporting a case of cyberbullying is always anonymous on Instagram, and no one will ever know you let them know about this behavior. Reporting content to Instagram can help them better keep you safe on their platforms. Bullying and harassment are highly personal by nature, so in many instances, they need a person to report this behavior to them before they can identify or remove it.

Cyberbullying depends on you and it can be stopped if people who are experiencing such a problem will report and let other people know about that. Try to stay away from people who love laughing or joking on someone's shortcomings. 

Do not be such a person, be a good one, be that person who will always be there to help people, even with good words. Do not laugh on anyone, you never know that maybe someday that person can be you, and might nobody will be there to listen or help you with.