Online presentation for youth on the phenomenon of cyberbullying

The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

Zsuzsa Szabó and Alexandra Benedek, two mentors of the project Find Your Way to the World of Work, held an online informative presentation to the vocational students from Gheorgheni on the topic of cyberbullying. Below you can read Alexandra and Zsuzsa’s report.

First, we clarified what constitutes being harassment: spiritual abuse on the internet or a repetitive and intentional act aimed at causing harm (with the help of the internet), aimed at intimidating, mocking or shaming the victim.

Participants in the harassment process:

  • Harasser
  • Intermediaries
  • Victim

The bully may be known or anonymous to the victim.
In the case of intermediaries, we discussed in detail what that means, what role they take on, and that criminal proceedings can be instituted against them if the victim makes a report to the police.
In the case of the victim, we discussed the possible consequences of the harassment to them. I have outlined this in a step-by-step process:

Anxiety → depression → decreased self-esteem → suicidal thoughts → suicide attempt.

We discussed the criminal consequences of harassment. I explained how to block the harasser on online interfaces e.g. on Facebook.

We drew attention on who to turn to for help or advice in case of harrassment (if they are being harassed or they know of someone who is harassed): we recommended parents, teachers, school psychologists or adults they trust. We emphasized they shouldn’t ask their peers for help or advice because those may not be able to give proper or mature advice.

We discussed in detail the negative implications of taking nude-type images. We warned them not to take pictures of that type, because this is the safest way. After that, we gave examples and listened to their experiences, the stories they heard or saw.

On the online presentation 5 mentees participated from Gheorgheni. In the first half of the lecture we went through the introduction. All of the participants showed great interest in the topic.

At the end of the presentation, listening to the experiences, the youth revealed a lot of stories. Questions have been raised like who to turn to if they become victims of cyberbullying. Due to the random formation of the group, all of the participants were girls, so we were able to get deeper into the cases and examples.

After the online meeting, I received feedback that they found it very interesting and would like to further discuss about this topic. My observations were that during the presentation, the youth were a bit timid and opened slowly. From the feedback I concluded that seeing a stranger and the unusual way of meeting may have triggered them to be slightly quiet.

We would like to repeat the meeting on other topics as well, especially among the existing clients.

The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

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