Secondary: I'm not a bully

Text messages are quick and easy, but can’t be unsent, so it's important to think before you text.

What’s the issue?

Mobile phones enable us to communicate more quickly and immediately than ever before. We can send messages to people spontaneously, without really thinking about what we’re saying and what the consequences might be. Because mobile phones are small and portable they can be easily loaned to others and even stolen.

Why does it matter?

  • Sometimes we say things in anger or because we are hurt. After thinking about it, we regret what we’ve said, but the damage has been done. Text messages are very quick and easy to send.
  • Receiving anonymous messages that are unpleasant or threatening can be frightening and produce a great deal of anxiety for the recipient. If such messages are received repeatedly a person’s mental health can be damaged.
  • Seeking ‘revenge’ almost always escalates a situation rather than resolving it.
  • Using someone else’s mobile phone to send malicious messages is dishonest and betrays trust.

Advice

Think before you text

Try to put some ‘think time’ between your thoughts and actions. When we are angry and/or hurt we can feel very intense emotions. These may not be the way we feel when some time has passed. If we ‘speak’ too quickly we may regret what we have said.

Respect other people’s property

If a friend is willing to share the use of their mobile phone with you, respect their generosity and use the device honestly and responsibly.

Monitor other people’s use of your mobile devices

Because your mobile phone number is a part of your identity, you need to know what it’s being used for if you allow someone else access. The number will always be traced back to you!

Be open and direct in your friendships

If you are angry with a friend or in a disagreement with them, it’s a good idea to speak with them about the matter that has upset you. This shows that you value the friendship.

Printable advice sheets

To download a copy of this advice sheet, see:

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