fro-yo asks: There is this face chat thing on my iPod, and I logged on today, and got a friend request from someone with my account name. She told all my friends it was me, and started writing statuses saying stuff about me that isn’t true! I don’t know who she is, but I’m so embarrassed, and I’m afraid to go to school. All my friends will be there and they might have seen it!
Hi fro-yo –
My friend, you are the victim of what’s known as cyber-bullying. This is a modern, high-technology, version of something that’s been done for millennia. This person is lying, spreading false rumors about you, and working very hard to make you miserable. Not only that, but the fact that they tried to ‘friend’ you means they definitely want you to know they’re doing it.
This stinks. It’s cruel, it’s malicious, and most of all, it’s cowardly.
You see, this is where I have to say, we dogs are way better than people. See, if I want to pick on a dog, I walk right up into her and bite her. If she wants to turn around and fight with me, that’s her right. But this person is doing this in a way where they can’t be traced. It makes me want to barf.
Now the worst thing you can do is to stay home from school. That means this creep has won.
Instead, here’s what you do. You write an email or text or facebook post, to ALL your friends, and say “Some loser managed to get my account name, and has been writing stupid lies about me. So I’m changing my account name. Sorry for the trouble, this is so boring.” And create a new account name.
Now most likely, the person who did this will get that message. Either they’re a friend of yours, or they’re friends with one of your friends. And so they will probably hear what you said. Not only that, but they’ll very likely find out what your other friends think of what’s happened. They’ll hear people say how awful it is that this happened to you. Or they’ll see the stream of emails or posts saying “That’s ridiculous! What sort of moron would do that?!” And however they hear about it will embarrass them, and they ought to stop.
But what can you do if they don’t? Well, it’s certainly going to be possible for you to change your address again. But also, their desire to be seen probably means that, at some point, you’ll be able to find out who it is. And then – you can have your school deal with it, or your parents, or possibly even the police!
The big thing I want to stress for you, fro-yo, is that this issue is GIGANTIC. And your job isn’t to just calmly sit and wait for things to change, or to be hurt again. Your job is to be strong, be confident, and to know that basically everyone in the world is on your side.
Especially a particular, very upset, dog!!