7 May 2012
Saving our Kids from the Bully
Bullying has been around for as long as people have, if you asked around most people have some memory of a bully intimidating them or making fun of them. For most, bullying happened at school, but it can happen at any time in one’s life. Advances in the internet and technology have brought about some positive changes in our lives. However, in the technical world that we live in today with our kids having access to cell phones and the cyber social media, it has turned into a deadly form of bullying known as cyber bullying. Like traditional bullying, many people think that cyber bullying is not a big ...view middle of the document...
* Punitive Fears Victims of cyber bullying often do not report it because of: (1) fear of retribution from their tormentors, and (2) fear that their computer or phone privileges will be taken away. Often, adults' responses to cyber bullying are to remove the technology from a victim - which in their eyes can be seen as punishment.
* Bystanders Most traditional bullying episodes occur in the presence of other people who assume the role of bystanders or witnesses. The phenomenon of being a bystander in the cyber world is different in that they may receive and forward emails, view web pages, forward images sent to cell phones, etc. The number of bystanders in the cyber world can reach into the millions.
* Disinhibition The anonymity afforded by the Internet can lead children to engage in behaviors that they might not do face-to-face. Ironically, it is their very anonymity that allows some individuals to bully at all (Cyber Bullying).
Bullying of any kind is bad Cyber bullying however, is different with cyber bullying even if you turn off your computer or cell phone the hurtful messages will be waiting when you turn the device back on (Reece 8). According to Dr. Kowaski cyber bullying is simply an electronic version of traditional bullying rather than a separate phenomenon (60). Cyber bullying which is defined as the intentional and repeated harm of others through the use of computer, cell phones, and other electronic devices (Hinduja 17), takes on a number of different forms
* Harassment: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
* Denigration: Distributing information about another that is derogatory and untrue through posting it on a Web page, sending it to others through email or instant messaging, or posting or sending digitally altered photos of someone
* Flaming: Online "fighting" using electronic messages with angry, vulgar language
* Impersonation: Breaking into an email or social networking account and using that person's online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others.
* Outing and Trickery: Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others.
* Cyber Stalking: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety (depending on the content of the message, it may be illegal)( Cyber Bullying).
Cyber bullying is taking its toll on our kids. Far too many are committing suicide because they feel there is nowhere to turn. They can’t get away from the harassment no matter where they go. Many kids and teens who are cyber bullied are reluctant to tell their teacher or parent, often because they feel ashamed of the social stigma, (cyberbullying 2). Dr. Kowalski who is a professor of psychology at Clemson University says the most common...