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.
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.
- 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!’
- 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.