Cyberbullying – A Negative Result of Technology

I know I am from a generation of past; however, I have been fortunate enough to keep up to speed with technology and all the good and bad that is associated with it.

Today, I happened across a site called the Cyberbullying Research Institute that is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

Cyberbullying Research Center

If you are in the know, the term of the year for 2010 has to be the word “bullying”. Bullying is nothing new, and if you are from my generation (and prior), then you may have experienced it yourself at one point or another when you were an adolescent. Bullying is someone that persistently tries to dominant (and abuse) another through fear, threats and sometimes violence.

The reason I crafted this article is to inform people, especially those from my generation (and prior), that there is a new bully in town and he (or she) is called the Cyberbully. The Cyberbully is different in that the Cyberbully uses current technology to bully the victim in an attempt to gain power and control. The Cyberbullying Research Institute defines cyberbullying as this:

“willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.”

Today’s technology makes it easy for the bully to harass others, due to the fact that the bully does not have to be physically in the  presence of the victim. With the wide reach of today’s technology, such as computers, cell phones, webcams, voice recorders, cameras, etc…,  incidents are occurring where adolescents are using these devices to harass, threaten, embarrass, intimidate, and humiliate others. For example, most cell phones today have the ability to record video and take pictures. There have been cases where bullying adolescents have taken pictures and videos of their peers in very compromising situations such as in a bedroom, a bathroom or other areas where privacy is typically expected; then posting the result on the internet.  Even something as simple as spreading rumors via text, instant, or email messaging can have devastating affects.

Again, my main purpose of this blog post is to make people aware that handing a cell phone, computer, or any electronic device over to a teenager, without rules and guidance, is a recipe for disaster that can lead to devastating affects.

If you would like to learn more about Cyberbullying, I encourage you to visit the Cyberbullying Research Center, a research group dedicated to tracking bullying behaviors online among youth.

Addendum:

  1. A fellow blogger, at 404 Tech Support, has an excellent article on this topic as well, titled ‘A Rant on Cyber-Bullying or ‘They’re 11. You, the Parent, Take Responsibility!’
  2. Parents, in this “digital age”, are faced with questions and challenges new to us humans. Tech, and the World-wide Web have changed the landscape. Tech Paul (at Tech-for Everyone) has assembled  ‘Some Tips for Parents’ that is a must read article.

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22 thoughts on “Cyberbullying – A Negative Result of Technology

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  1. Rick,
    Just one of the reasons I read you everyday is because, through your writing, it is patently apparent (to me) that you care about people and are trying to help them… as in you use of the word “I”, here, in this article.

    As we all should know (or “intuit”), this “cyberbullying” is happening, and the media has told us about at least one suicide (and a wacky mom). But what do we do about it? Is the question.

    I will be pointing my readers to this article.. and I hope you will forgive me further “butting in”: this is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the official website has this page, http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-home/cyberbullying-and-harassment.

    Also,for parents who want to monitor your child’s activity, there is commercial software that can be installed on every type of phone– such as RADAR and MobileSpy. These can notify you in “real time” if a parameter you set is being broken. iPhone users can look at safe eyes.

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    1. TechPaul,

      Thank you very much for these links. It is important that we stay the course and keep people informed. I really do appreciate it.

      P.S. I thought you told me that the Giants would be blown away??? (LOL). They look pretty good to me!

      Rick

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      1. With kids like this it is almost like they need to be somewhere where they can be molded… The problem is parenting in most cases and then plugin peer pressure and the gang mentality. I say if a kid is involved in this type of activity to the point it reaches the criminal justice system then send them to Church for a year or a Boys or Girl’s club or something that “just maybe” will help them out. There just plain is no discipline anymore. The kids rule…

        Rick

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    1. The whole topic of bullying makes me pause and think. How is it that politicians have even been discussing stances on (cyber)bullying while at the same time our televisions are inundated with negative, mud-slinging campaign ads?

      I’d champion leading by example but hopefully the madness here in the US will be over after Tuesday. With hypocrites in charge, I say no, juvenile bullying and cyberbullying should not be considered a crime by itself.

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      1. Although Techpaul’s idea of charging the bully’s parent might be a good idea, I somewhat agree with Jason that bullying should only be a crime if it was violent. Thanks for the feedback guys.

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  2. Not only does iKeyMonitor can spy on a mobile phone, now the newest iKeyMonitor can also block any inappropriate Apps and games. It can also stop your children from using apps by limiting the screen time.

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