Consultant advises social activities, face-to-face conversations to avoid cyberbullying

A local mental health expert said it is important for victims of cyberbullying to get involved in activities in order to put the phone away. (MGN Online)

The best way to avoid cyberbullying is step away from the screen and be active.

Local health consultant Kimberly Smith with Boone Hospital's Employee Assistance Program said cyberbullying can be difficult to escape because the bully hides behind a screen without the knowledge of the victim.

"I think it's a little bit more insidious and people can bully each other without actually seeing one another," Smith said. "When you're face to face with somebody you have to actually speak with someone talk with someone. When you're cyberbullying, you can say or do whatever you want and nobody ever really knows. Plus, you generate a larger audience."

Smith attributes her most useful information to experiences shared by her clients.

"They say it's a way to determine who your real friends are versus who your fake friends are - that's why it's best to keep your connections face to face," Smith said.

Smith said it is important as a victim of cyberbully to keep busy and stay off your phone.

"Make sure that you get out and do things. Be involved with the community, be involved with whatever activities you enjoy versus just isolating yourself and staying on your phone. That's when you're most vulnerable to cyberbullying," Smith said.

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