What is Cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying can be defined as any kind of intimidation that happens online or via text messaging in our cell phones. Mean messages in internet forums, name calling and harassing in chat rooms, creating false profiles in web sites and cruel email messages spreading rumors or gossip about people are considered cyber bullying practices. Online intimidation also has the purpose to inflict pain and agony on others, just like bullying does.
If you are participating in any of these actions, believe me: you are not just having fun without consequences. You are in fact cyber bullying someone else. If you are a victim of this type of behavior, there are things you can do to make it stop. If you are a bystander, by all means, do not join the bullies!
Bullying is a type of behavior that has been happening among us for as long as the first groups of people started to relate and work together. Whether in families, schools or the workplace, the struggle for power seems to be an inherent need of mankind. The misuse of power also seems to be a learned behavior in many cultures. Thanks to the internet, kids, teenagers and adults are now victims of bullying in their own homes. Online intimidating or cyber bullying is a very serious issue. When bullying starts happening inside our homes through our computers, it can leave victims feeling helpless and terrified.
Why do people engage in Cyber bullying?
Bullying has been happening for ever among people in their groups but cyber bullying is only possible because of technology. Because it happens on a virtual reality, it allows for bullies to stay anonymous – at least for a while. It is a lot easier to intimidate someone in the virtual world than face to face. And the risks of being caught are a lot smaller.
Bullies are natural intimidators and in the virtual world they can get a lot more people to engage in their evil behavior, people who normally would not have the courage to do it in the real world. And so, bystanders who do not stand up for victims in the real world, might, sadly, end up being active bullies in the virtual world.
What can we do about Cyber bullying?
There are a number of things that can be done to fight cyber bullying. The most important attitude a victim can have is not to respond to any of the bullies attacks. Victims must not play the bullies game. If you are a victim of cyber bullying, do not reply to emails, text messages and do not engage in any chats with the bullies. Do not repeat what the bully is doing. Ask for help, either to your parents or to your teachers. Never be afraid to ask for help.
You should also keep all evidence of any intimidating actions by the bullies so that authorities in your school or workplace or internet providers or even the police can deal with the situation in the appropriate way. Cyber bullying can allow for bullies to keep anonymous, but not for long.
However, the best way to fight bullying is to promote honest and open dialogues among all people in their different groups. Bringing people together and giving everyone a chance to be listened to have proven to be one of the best solutions to break down the barriers that separate kids, teens and adults in their schools or work environments.
We need to re-learn how to connect to one another beyond the virtual world. Words can hurt much more than physical pain. Written words are there to taunt us day after day. We should all be aware that at the same time that technology can be an amazing asset for all of us; it can also spread anguish and fear in seconds.
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