What can I do about kids texting intimidating messages to my cell phone and posting mean rumors about me on Facebook? At first I tried to ignore them, but the situation has gotten so bad that I don't want to show my face at school anymore. These people are destroying my life!
We're so sorry to hear about the text messages you've been receiving and the ugly rumors that have been posted about you on Facebook. Cyber-bullying is serious, and we understand why you feel intimidated and upset.
Don't try to cope with this situation on your own. Tell your parents what's going on, if you haven't done so already. Though they can't completely solve this problem for you, they can give you guidance and encouragement. They can also contact other adults in positions of authority, if necessary.
Also, it might be helpful to tell other trustworthy adults what you're going through and how cyber-bullying is affecting your life. Your pastor, youth leader, church elder, family friend, nearby relative, or your favorite teacher might be willing to pray for you, and they might have valuable advice to offer as well.
As another option, we invite you to contact one of the licensed Christian counselors here at Focus. They would be glad to talk to you and offer more specific recommendations based on your unique circumstances.
Meanwhile, your mom and dad can help you decide what your level of involvement in social networking should be. Listen to your parents and follow the guidelines they give you, keeping in mind that they have your best interests at heart.
Along those lines, it might be a good idea to take a temporary break from online activities and texting. This will give you time to recover emotionally, and perhaps rebuild your social reputation. You don't need to lose contact with your friends – you can find other ways to stay in touch with them. Your parents might have some creative ideas for you.
Though it won't be easy, try to be honest with yourself and decide if there's any truth in the rumors and mean comments others have made about you. If some of their criticisms are valid, make some appropriate changes in your attitudes or behavior. Be sure to disregard words that are simply abusive, and move on with your life as best you can. If some of the statements are seriously slanderous or violent, keep a formal record of them. You may need to have evidence if it becomes necessary to contact the police.
Most of all, remember that God loves you through the good times and the bad. He created you in His own image, and you are valuable in His sight no matter what anyone else says or does. With the help of your parents and other adults, you'll make it through this tough time. Trust in the Lord, and stand strong in the love of Jesus.