By Rohit Raj
Human nature does not change with advent of new technologies. Man is social animal. His behavior is governed by social forces. The negative side of one’s personality is reflected in acts like abusing, bullying, harassing etc. The cyber bullying is only a change of media other aspects of social and psychological construct remain same.
The social channels (Facebook, Orkut and SMS etc.) provide a very good outlet of ones feelings and has proved very constructive in ones socialization at low cost, defying all geographical barriers, time schedules, age group etc. There are bullies in society at every level. They have crept into the social network also and there their boundaries are unlimited. It has created a serious problem for network managers, social crime management department and society as whole. The bullies are writing atrocious things, uploading dirty pictures and doing it just to harass others. The affected person may get highly upset even to the extent of total breakdown.
And the problem of cyber-bullying is not that rare one of my friends (who does not want to be named) says that when she was in second year she stared to receive a phone call from an unknown number. “Initially he tried to be friends with me but I said no. But he would not stop and kept calling me so I stopped picking up his calls. Every day in the morning I could see 30 missed calls on my mobile. So I told him one day that I would call the police if he ever tries to calls me again.
After that that I stated to receive 60 calls per day and threatening messages as well. He stated that he knew my whereabouts and calling the police would be detrimental. What started as cyber stalking soon turned into cyber bullying. I was very disturbed and did not know what to do. Finally I involved my parent into the matter and next time the call was picked by my mother. She scolded him for half an hour and after that the calls ended for good. I am very relaxed now though I now feel that had I involved my mother at an earlier stage the problem would not have exaggerated.”
Most of us would not involve our elders into such matters. We are either too afraid to talk about such matters or ashamed of the subject about which we are bullied. But, what all of us must remember is that they are much more experienced than us and would give best solutions in such scenarios. In most of the cases the bullying is done by the person of the similar age but is not always the case.
In high profile suicide case of Megan Meier it was her friend’s murder who committed the bullying to an extent that she took such an extreme step. At the same time it would be wrong to consider that cyber bullying only effects the children or adolescents though in smaller percentage it also affects adults especially at the workplace. A survey by Dignity and Work Partnership has revealed that one in ten British employees has experienced cyber bullying at work.
The problem is with society not the social channels. We cannot keep a watch on every other person but what we can do is to change ourselves to cope up with this problem. If you can get hold of the movie rather a mockumentary Adina’s Deck please watch it. It provides excellent resource for coping up with cyber bullying.
Also, National Crime prevention Council, United Sates provides five major guideline to prevent cyber bullying they are:
- Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages.
- Tell friends to stop cyberbullying.
- Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number) or your friends’ personal information.
- Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
- Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
It is not only the responsibility of the social workers, educators, policy makers, behaviorists, to deal with this problem but our active participation is also needed. If we are alert then nobody will be able to harm us. This work also requires help of cyber experts. Certainly it will not be easy but has anyone succeed without trying?