Guiding Youth - Text Bullying
Assisting a Mentee deal with Text bullying and responsible mobile phone use
Some tips for dealing with text bullying and some suggestions for responsible mobile phone use. While this source is from New Zealand, it will give some ideas of what mentors could be considering in such a discussion with their mentees at some point during the mentoring journey:
- Don’t reply to texts that are abusive or from someone you don’t know.
- Keep a log of the times and dates the abusive or unwanted messages were sent (you can get this information from the bottom of the text messages). You will need this information to make a complaint.
- If the bully is at your school, talk to your guidance counselor or a senior member of staff [or your Peer Group leader who can accompany you to one of these people if you feel in need of some support (where applicable)]. If in your workplace, talk with the Harassment Officer or someone in Human Resources. They may have some great ways to help.
- Threatening someone in person or over a telephone is against the law in New Zealand. If you receive a threatening message, save the text on your phone and take it to your nearest Police station.
- If you are using a text chat service, find out about how to block a chatter by taking a look at the Mobile Phone Safety section on the Netsafe website or contact your telecommunications company.
- Think about whether something you are sending might make another person feel uncomfortable. Whether it is a joke, or something about yourself or another person, be aware that what you send might be taken the wrong way. If in doubt, don’t send it.
- Always ask before taking a photo of another person (with your phone or other device) and check that it is okay before sending it to anyone else. Once you send a picture to another person it is out of your control and may be circulated among more people than first thought.
- Be aware that pictures can be manipulated by others after they have been sent and may be posted online or distributed to an unknown audience.