Ditto and Chip talk about online bullying
Chip has a problem – someone said some really mean things about him on Facebook, and he wants to get back at them, so he goes to Ditto for help. Ditto and Chip talk about the best things to do when someone is being mean to you online. If someone is bullying you online there are lots of ways to get help, like parents and teachers, moderators and online community representatives.
Chip: Hi Ditto
Ditto: Hey Chip!
Chip: Hey Ditto, you know a lot of stuff
Ditto: Well, me know pie….
Chip: Well, what’s another way to say someone is a bad person? Like a really mean way?
Ditto: You could say – wait, why you want to tell someone they a horrible person?
Chip: Oh – well this guy said some really mean things about me and a friend of mine on Facebook. I wanted to get back at him.
Ditto: So, someone said really mean things about you online, so you want to get back at them by saying mean things about them?
Chip: Well… yeah.
Ditto: And how do you think that will help?
Chip: What do you mean?
Ditto: Well, do you think calling them names back will make them stop being mean to you?
Chip: Well, I –
Ditto: Or do you think that maybe calling them names will escalate the situation?
Ditto: Yeah, escalate – make it worse. There are usually two big reasons that someone will say bad things about you online – they feel really bad about themselves, so they try to make themselves feel better by cutting other people down, making other people feel sad. Or else they’re just mean, and they say things like that to get a reaction from people – it’s fun for them to to see people get angry and lash out, that’s their whole goal. Either way, reacting to them is going to make things worse.
Chip: It will?
Ditto: Definitely. They said bad things about you, and it made you sad, and angry. Now you’re going to do something to make them sad and angry. If they’re very unhappy about themselves, you saying bad things about them is going to make them feel worse, and they’ll need to say something even WORSE to you to feel better again. If they’re just mean and looking for a reaction, well, you’re giving them exactly what they want, so they’re going to keep doing it because it’s fun for them – you’re not hurting them or getting back at them, you’re actually doing exactly what they want you to do.
Chip: So what do I do then? They said things that made me really sad and kind of angry.
Ditto: I know, and reading stuff like that can really hurt your feelings, but let’s think about it for a minute. What they said – was it true?
Chip: No, not at all, and it was so mean…
Ditto: And the person who said it , are they a friend of yours? Someone you know?
Chip: Not really – they’re just someone on Facebook who plays the same game I do.
Ditto: So, a person you don’t know said things about you that aren’t true on a website you go to sometimes.
Ditto: OK – take a step back and ask yourself how that really affects you? How does that affect your life? Are you going to get bad grades or lose a job over that? Will your hair fall out because he said that?
Chip: (laughs) No, of course not!
Ditto: Well then why respond at all? He can’t hurt you if you don’t let him, and hurting him back will only make things worse.
Chip: I know, I was just feeling mad – so what do I do?
Ditto: Well depending on the website, you can probably block this person, or you can tell a moderator about it, you can tell an adult if it’s really bad, or you can just ignore it… just don’t take the bait, don’t respond – that never ends well.
Chip: Thanks Ditto – I feel better already.
Ditto: I’m glad. Lets go have some pie.
Chip: I’d rather have some kale chips.
Ditto: Sometimes you can be very strange….