The messages were awful. They just wouldn’t stop. I am neurodiverse and they were saying I was stupid and had no friends.
I’m 13 and I love my Labrador, Hudson, and playing Minecraft with my friends. I like building bridges and castles, and I can spend hours making elaborate structures that all fit together. One day I started chatting to someone I didn’t know. At first, they were really friendly, but then they started saying nasty things and calling me stupid.
I blocked them like my dad told me to and began chatting to other people. Some of these people also started being mean and they seemed to know a lot about me. They knew which school I went to and what I liked to do. They were saying that I was always by myself at school, and I had no friends.
It’s true I like spending time by myself. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it was weird how much they seemed to know about me, like where I hung out at lunchtime and that I liked to take Hudson for walks on the bush tracks near my house after school. I blocked these accounts too and decided not to chat to anyone on Minecraft.
Then I started getting messages on social media. They were awful and they wouldn’t stop.
I’d block one account and a new message would appear from another account. They were calling me names, like ‘loser’. They were saying I should jump off a cliff. It made me feel dreadful. That’s when I showed the messages to my dad.
He helped me to report what was happening to the social media platform. When the platform didn’t get back to us after two days, my dad helped me to report it to eSafety. They told me I did the right thing by blocking and reporting the accounts to the platform. They then contacted the platform, and the accounts that sent the mean messages were removed. eSafety also told me how I can report bad behaviour to Minecraft.
I’m so glad the messages have stopped. Now I can enjoy playing Minecraft and taking Hudson for walks.
Note: Ryan’s story combines experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.