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BP: Hi, I'm Bob Parsons here with Vanessa...
Vanessa: Hello internet.
BP: ...Who's filling in for Leeann who's on vacation, literally, at Disneyland.
BP: With this episode of my video blog, I'm going to talk about a topic that's gotten a lot of headlines recently, cyber bullying. The things these anonymous tormentors say and do online can impact reputations and create a lot of unnecessary grief for you if you don't deal with these (bleep!) holes the right way.
BP: So here are my tips for deflecting cyber bullies.
Vanessa: Always remember who you're dealing with.
BP: Cyber bullies, no matter how they appear on the outside, have low self-esteem and are insecure on the inside. People who have healthy self-esteem never waste time harassing others.
The very fact that someone is a cyber bully tells you they don't think so highly of themselves.
BP: So, remember, you're not the problem, the cyber bully is the problem.
Vanessa: Before we go any further here is something every kid needs to know.
BP: If you're NOT an adult, and a cyber bully is causing you personal grief, you need to tell your parents. If you don't want to tell your parents, talk to the minister at your church, or your teacher or counselor at your school.
BP: The big point here is to tell someone who is an adult and who can help you through the ordeal.
BP: Sometimes a Cyber Bully torments others with personal information that can be very embarrassing. This could be facts or innuendo about how someone looks, how they act, their indiscretionsOR even their sexual preferences.
BP: Remember this, no matter how embarrassing the gossip is, it's not as bad as it seems, and what the cyber bully is hassling others or even you with has happened to many, many, many people before.Also remember, that eventually everything blows over and is forgotten.
BP: So, if you - because of a Cyber Bully - start to question your self worth, there's a short poem you need to read that may help put everything in perspective, it's called the Desiderata. Take a moment and look it up on the Internet. It will help you understand your place in this world, and why it definitely is a better place because you're a part of it.
Vanessa: Don't waste your time worrying.
BP: With all the gossip and innuendo put out there by the cyber bully you may be worried about your reputation. You might be thinking, "Well, what'll people think if they read those terrible things?" I'll tell you what people will think. They'll think the person bullying you is a complete pr (bleep!), schmuck and a loser
BP: And the few people who believe what the bully is saying and or writing? Guess what? They're losers themselves and they're definitely not worth worrying about.
Vanessa: Stay in control.
BP: Don't engage a cyber bully personally. Once they know they have your attention, things will usually just get worse. Most of the time if you ignore the individual they'll go away.
Vanessa: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
BP: Many people share too much information online. Posting your address or phone number anywhere, even on your so-called, private, social media pages is a bad idea. Just don't do it. Sophisticated cyber bullies can find that information and take the situation to a whole different level.
Vanessa: Phone a friend.
BP: If you tell your friends about the cyber bully, often they'll want to step in on your behalf. Now, they shouldn't argue or harass the bully, but sometimes a, "Hey, cool it!" message from a third party - that does the trick.
Vanessa: Shut it down.
BP: If the bullying is happening on a social networking site, or forum, delete the bully from your friend or follower list and report the bully to that site's administrator immediately. More than likely you aren't the only one having issues with that bully.
BP: FaceBook, Twitter and other sites will usually shut down the offender. If the bully is targeting you via email, just mark their messages as spam and let your spam filter do the work. If that doesn't fix it...
Vanessa: If that doesn't work, change your eMail account.
BP: That's right! Leave your current account in place, but open a new eMail account and give the address to that account only to your friends, family and co-workers. Visit the old account once in a while, select all, then delete.
Vanessa: Print, and share.
BP: If you know who the cyber bully is you might also consider reporting them to their school, place of business, parents or even their spouse.
BP: When doing so, make it a point to provide copies of the harassing communications the bully has been sending you. This will stop most of them dead in their tracks.
Vanessa: Know when to get serious.
BP: Sometimes cyber bullying can turn into something more sinister and even criminal and although you should try to ignore cyber bullying whenever possible, you should never ignore threats against you or your family's personal safety.
BP: If you feel that your person, family, friends or property are threatened, call the police immediately.
Vanessa: Fix the problem.
BP: Sometimes cyber bullying gets born out of frustration with a business or product. Although anonymous, nasty messages are a bad way to get attention, you should look at the core issue and see if you can fix it. Chances are - if one person is frustrated, there are many more.
Vanessa: Fight the temptation.
BP: If you have ever been tempted to say and write nasty things about other people online get it through your head that you're better than that. It's important to treat people the same way online as you would face to face and the way you'd want to be treated. Communicating on line doesn't make it OK to be an (bleep!) hole.
BP: Well that's a wrap for this episode. If you have any comments or questions, please post them here. I'm always interested in what you have to say. For Vanessa and myself, thanks for watching.
Vanessa: See you soon.
BP: During my life I've assembled a collection of 16 rules. Most of them I learned the hard way. These rules helped me in business and my personal life. Hopefully, they will help you to. Today's rule; Number 12, never let anybody push you around.
BP: In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else. Remember that.