Seen something you wish you hadn’t? We’re here to help.
No matter how hard we try to stay safe online, there’s always a risk of seeing something we really didn’t want to see. If you’ve seen something disturbing, shocking or upsetting online, it’s normal to feel worried, anxious or scared. It’s important to talk to an adult you trust to get support. You can reach out to a parent or family member or talk to a teacher at school if you’d rather speak to someone outside of your family.
Will I Be In Trouble?
You might feel worried that you’ve done something wrong – you may have been on a website that’s for over 18s, for example. Please don’t worry about getting into trouble – the most important thing is your safety and getting the right support to help you deal with what you’ve seen.
Reporting Inappropriate Content
It’s important to report upsetting content to make it less likely you’ll see it again in the future. This also helps to keep other people safe online. If you’ve seen distressing content on social media, you can click the links below to find out how to report it:
If you’ve seen something upsetting or worrying on a website, you can use this link to find the right people to report it to. https://saferinternet.org.uk/guide-and-resource/need-help
Grooming, hate crimes, child abuse, online terrorism and racial bullying are all examples of illegal online behaviour. Ask an adult to help you decide which authority you should report the website to.
How Do I Forget What I’ve Seen?
It can be difficult to forget the upsetting stuff you’ve seen. It can make you feel upset and anxious, and you may be having nightmares. Talking about how you’re feeling can really help you process your thoughts and deal with your emotions. You can also try these practical steps to help you move on:
- Actively seek out images and videos that make you smile to fill your head with more positive memories. Search for cute baby animals and funny pranks to replace and forget those upsetting images, once and for all.
- Try mindfulness colouring to focus your mind and body on being completely present in the here and now. This can help to stop your brain from wandering and thinking about the distressing images you’ve seen. To discover more about the benefits of mindfulness colouring, click here.
- Write down how you’re feeling. Let your emotions spill out onto the paper. Imagine that those feelings of sadness and worry have left your body and now live in the paper. Writing down our feelings helps us to understand our emotions more clearly, which helps to clear the mind of anxious thoughts.
- Learn how to keep yourself safe online to reduce your risk of seeing upsetting content in the future. Find out how to be safe online here.