Online Drama

Written by Jo Langford, M.A.

Everyone who interacts with other humans on the internet will most likely experience cruel behavior sooner or later. Read below to learn some important tips and tools to help you avoid being part of, or the target of online drama.

Social Media
  • If someone targets you online, don’t stay silent or try to deal with it on your own. Friends, caregivers, and school staff are your best choices to obtain help or advice.
  • In most situations, you can unfriend/unfollow/block someone without them being alerted that you are doing so.
  • When you see someone else being targeted or harmed, it is important (now more than ever) to be an upstander rather than a bystander.
  • Unfriend/unfollow/block those who make you uncomfortable, and don’t waste time trying to argue with others who engage in digital drama, negative commenting, or hate speech.
  • Block and report are helpful tools, use them!
  • Be a value-add on the internet, rather than contributing to the noise and negativity.
Screen Time
  • Think before you post; the consequences of your behavior can have very, very heavy impacts on the people you target.
  • Assume that anything you share on social media can be shared with everyone including teachers, grandparents, police, or classmates.
  • All responsible apps, social networks, and gaming systems have blocking and reporting options.
  • If someone threatens to physically harm you or someone you care about, you should always take those threats seriously and report them to a trusted adult.
Gaming
  • Remember that no matter how personal a troll may try to make it, these attacks are not about you; they’re about what you represent to the troll.
  • If you are a member of a racial, ethnic, or religious minority, if you identify as a woman, LGBTQ+, or you belong to any other typically marginalized group, the chances of someone targeting you online go up.
  • If you have been victimized, do not lash out at others. Seek help.