Technophobia Is Not the Solution to Cyberbullying.

We live in an era where it´s easier to blame technology when bad things happen.

Technology, according to Melvin Krantzberg, “is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral”. Unquestionably, an epochal shift in communications technology has multiplied the effects of the bullying, allowing young people to torment each other in new and intimately relentless ways.

If we want to jump to conclusions we should understand that the only difference from these days and then… is that social media effect of a single hurtful comment made online has the potential to become greatly amplified.

So-called cyberbullying is still just bullying, which predates the internet by centuries. Before Facebook there were the girls’ toilets, the gymnasium and the playground; there was school itself, which, for a large minority of children, has long been a synonym for a special sort of ritualistic social torture. Nobody, however, would suggest that the way to stop bullying was simply to prevent children from going to school.

k-pop shut up GIF

So,

Is the solution banning kids from online activities or taking their mobile devices away?  Well, here´s an article that just came out…”France banned mobile phones in Scools” … starting Septembre.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/11/france-to-ban-mobile-phones-in-schools-from-september

Cyberbulling is not 100% the reason for the french to ban all devices, its also the lack of connection and attention of kids in school; but, it does represent a high % of the why´s they are doing it.

How Cyber Bullying and Traditional Bullying Are Similar

  1. Bullying Is… Bullying. In both cases of bullying, the bully uses threatening or mean acts of agression designed to cause harm towards someone else (the victim).
  2. The Effects of Either Type of Bullying Are Similar. People who get picked on usually experience depression, loneliness, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and a loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
  3. Traditional & Cyber Bullying Occur Repeatedly. This is an act that happens over and over again, to the point where it has severe effects on the bully’s target.
  4. All Bulllies Share a “Power Dynamic”. Bullies will only pick on those who they think are weaker than they are. It could be for whatever reason, but bullies are usually aggressive and they tend to target passive victims in situations where the victim cannot defend themselves.

Now, we need to understand the difference to be able to identify when this is happening in our environment

  1. Anonymity: How the Internet Protects the Bully. Internet actually gives the offender an extra degree of protection.
  2. Cyber Bullying Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime. As long as someone has access to the Internet, a bully can harass someone and a victim can find an offensive comment about them.
  3. Cyber Bullying Incidents Can Go Viral. Some of the nastiest online bullies expose their victims in front of the entire virtual world.
  4. There Is a Lot Less Remorse in the Online World. Nowadays, people seem to believe that there are worse reprocussions for cyber bullying compared to traditional bullying. Victims are less likely to tell their parents or teachers about a cyber bullying incident because they may fear that they’ll receive a worse punishment.

How Do We Stop This

A full solution therefore lies in providing education and guidance for everyone and an environment in which openness and dialogue are the norm and in which everyone feels safe and supported when they raise concerns or report.

Cyber bullying may be dangerous and a little more difficult to prevent right now, but that’s exactly why we should take this seriously and combat these forms of bullying together. As students, parents, teachers and school administrators, it is important to have open paths of communication with everyone and to continue talking about how to prevent cyber bullying from happening.

As mentioned above, hateful messages on mobiles are just the tip of the iceberg.

Additional Resources:

Thanks for reading me,

Maria Albarrán

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