In recent weeks, social media has been saturated with posts and comments of people on societal issues. It comes as for the second time in history, the national government has shut down one of the country’s biggest media networks, ABS-CBN.
For some, this is an attack on press freedom, saying that the House of Representatives has displayed an unbecoming behavior when it attempted to silence the network’s executives during the hearings. Meanwhile, others have lauded and supported the decision. (Read: Why are people so keen on protecting media rights and freedom?)
This issue, along with others hounding the Philippines, has divided the Filipinos. And just like before, they have sought social media to air their views and bully others whose opinions and ideas differ from them.
Now that people have so much time to spend on social media, bullying can happen more often than before. A form of power-play wherein the bully prevents his victim from fighting back or defending themself, bullying is considered as a harmful and hurtful issue that even Pope Francis refers to it as “the work of Satan”.
To help you navigate your life in quarantine on a more positive light, My Pope lists three easy ways to shut down the cyber bullies (without becoming a bully yourself!).
Know your identity and your worth.
Perhaps one of the best tips to shut down the bully is to know that you are valued and loved. Our confidence acts as a shield against bullying attacks because it does not depend on other’s perception of us. If you know your worth, nobody can tell you that you’re not important– especially those who don’t know you. (Read: Personality Test: Are you becoming ‘too sensitive’ to social media?)
Have a support system.
Having a support system does not mean that your entire family or friends will rally against your offender. This action does not effectively address the problem but just leads to more aggression until it becomes a cycle. Surround yourself with people who will listen and affirm you—not take revenge for you or tell you what you should have done during a situation. (Read: 5 Easy Ways to ‘Be There’ For A Loved One With Depression)
Cultivate a healthy environment
If you cultivate a culture of respect and kindness, you can lift others up and stay in control of a situation. Sometimes we misinterpret when someone is just having fun or is trying to hurt you, especially online. If you have a healthy environment that is fostered on mutual respect and kindness, you can easily backtrack instead of staying in a situation wherein you could get bullied. As long as you recognize that everyone deserves respect, you can shut down the bully effectively. (Read: My Pope-approved tips on how to behave in social media)