What are my options?

Report it

If it is a private group on Facebook, you can report comments or posts that are hurtful or abusive.

To do this:

1. Find the post you want to report.

2. Click Story options in the top right.

3. Select Report to Admin to report the post to an admin or select Report post to send the report to Facebook.

REMEMBER: If you choose to report the post to an admin, the admin will know that you reported it. Admins may or may not choose to remove the post or block the person who shared the post. Reporting a post to an admin won’t send a report to Facebook.


Log off

If things are starting to get nasty or you are feeling really upset about comments that are being made, logging off can give you the chance to calm down and then decide what you would like to do next.

It can also remove the tension from a situation and let it move on to something else.

It’s also a good idea to log out and take a breath and think things through before replying to avoid saying something out of upset/anger that we’ll later regret (or could even make things worse).


Ignore it or dismiss it

A lot of the time, other people are looking for a reaction.  They might even be oblivious to the fact that their comments are hurtful.

Other times, they want you to be embarrassed or even worked up.  It is not as interesting for them if you ignore it or don’t take the bait.

You could even say, ” Yeah, whatever” or change the subject.  If neither of these strategies work, trying one of the others below might be a next step.


Contact the person privately

If this is out of character for the other person, this could be a sign that they are not in a good place themselves.

Getting in contact with them privately to let them know you are worried about them might help them to open up about what is going on instead of reacting within the group and then letting things escalate.

Saying something like, “Hey, when you said…. that isn’t really like you.  Is everything ok?  I am here to talk if there is something going on?”


Be Direct

If you have thought things through you might decide to make a comment.

Let the person or people who have made the comment(s) know that it is not ok and is actually hurtful.

Keep this simple and stay calm.  They may be genuinely unaware that they are hurting your feelings.


Spend some time with other friends

Whether this is online or off, spending some time with other people that treat you with kindness and respect can help you to step away from what had been making you upset or angry.

It is also a good chance to have a think about what kinds of friendships you want (and what kind of friend you are).  If the group is not so fun anymore, or the people in the group make you feel worthless then it could be worth a rethink?


Leave the group

If this has been going on pretty regularly lately or it is having a negative impact on your life, it might be worth removing yourself from the group.

Friends that care about you understand your feelings and don’t deliberately hurt you.


Open up about it

Take some time to chat to someone that you trust about what has been going on and how it has been making you feel.

Make sure you ask if they have time to talk so that you are not interrupted or they are not in a rush (or in a bad head space themselves).

They might have experienced something similar that they can tell you about.  They might also have a different perspective or point of view that might help you look at the situation differently.  Talking it through (even if you do this via text or messaging) can help you work out your own solution or work out what is really getting to you.


Get in touch with Netsafe

If you need help, advice or support with any kind of online issue, Netsafe can help.

They are a non-profit organisation with a helpline set up to help people with online safety and online issues.

Netsafe have years of experience in helping young people deal with harm online, their service is free and confidential.

Find out more by visiting their website or checking out the services section.


Take a break

It might be worth considering taking a break from Social Media for a bit so that you can spend time with your friends and family doing things to take your mind off what has been happening online.

If it is through a group chat, Instagram gives you the option to ‘temporarily disable your account’ so that you can take a break without losing your photos and contacts.

How to Temporarily Disable your account on Instagram

  1. Log into instagram.com from a mobile browser or computer. You can’t temporarily disable your account from within the Instagram app.
  2. Tap or click the person icon in the top right and then select Edit Profile.
  3. Scroll down, then tap or click Temporarily disable my account in the bottom right.
  4. Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? and re-enter your password. The option to disable your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.
  5. Tap or click Temporarily Disable Account.

If it is through a group on Facebook, they let you Deactivate your account so you can do the same thing and give yourself some space.

How to deactivate your account on FB
  1. Click the downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page.
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click “Security” in the left column.
  4. Choose “Deactivate your account”, then follow the steps to confirm.

Otherwise, you could take some time offline for a bit to spend time in person with your friends and family.

Have some good times and stop dwelling on the confusion and hurt around what has been happening online.