Cyberbullying is a huge problem among kids, but some people don’t realize that parents can get cyberbullied also. Social media bullies often target parents who are asking for advice or trying to make friends. Facebook parenting groups are notorious for being cliquish and unwelcoming to parents who join. And it’s not really a surprise that parents are exhibiting bad behavior online. Studies have shown that people feel empowered to be mean or cruel online in ways that they would not in person. Kids pick up on that and become bullies themselves when they listen to parents talk about how they bully others online.
I Was A Victim
I was a victim of online mom bullying when I joined a local parent’s Facebook group. A new member in the group asked a question about a school event and was instantly singled out for torment by the others in the group. When I defended the new mother the group turned on me. Of course, I’m an adult, so I was better equipped to handle the bullying than a child would be. But it was still very upsetting and frightening.
After the other moms in the group decided to make my life as difficult as possible they started sending me hundreds of messages berating and belittling me. One kept telling me to kill myself because my kids would be better off without me. As fast as I would block them they would create new dummy accounts and message me again. And on Facebook, you can’t block strangers from sending you messages.
The Bullies Gain Strength
They started messaging everyone on my Facebook friends list saying terrible things about me. And they called my boss and tried to get me fired. They almost did get me fired. My boss told me to keep my personal problems out of the workplace because he was angry that they were emailing and calling constantly. They even had their kids harass my kids at school. It was terrible. And while it was very upsetting for me as an adult I can’t even imagine how difficult it is for a child to deal with that kind of behavior.
What You Can Do
You are not responsible for people bullying you and you are not responsible for the actions of others. If you are being bullied on social media report your bullies and block them. Keep a record of every message and every incident so that you can report them in the town where you live. Also, check on Kiwi Searches if they have done something like this before. But there are also some way to protect yourself online to prevent any serious consequences if you do get bullied like:
Don’t list your employer publicly on your profile. This just tells people how to harass you even further.
Don’t list your address or any personal information publicly on your profile. Make sure that all of your security settings are locked down tight.