In class this week the main topic of discussion was cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can take place in many different forms a text message, picture/video clip, phone call, email, chat room, instant message etc. Anyone and everyone is susceptible to bullying but now a days with children being allowed access to the internet or the procession a phone at a younger age has endangered them of cyber bullying.
But what is cyber bullying, cyberbullying.org describes it as ‘when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor.‘
How does it work, there are two types of cyber bullying; direct cyber bullying, where messages are sent to the victim and cyber bullying by proxy, where others are used to harass the victim. A big question asked is often why this happens, but why does anything happen? The main concern that we should be looking at is how we can prevent this from happening.
I think a big step in the right direction is to teach children at a young age the dangers of using technology in this way and explain the difference between a joke and something that is hurtful. Children need to realise the consequences that can come from their behavior towards others including those in extreme cases such as suicide. Bullying is a serious thing as it is and with cyber bullying there is no where to hide for the victims, no escape. It follows you home, every beep from your phone, every notification on your social media is frightening.
Below are some really helpful guides for those suffering under cyber bullying from the ISPCC, who have recently launched the ISPCC Shield Campaign. With this campaign they hope to ‘empower schools and wider community members to actively address and tackle the widespread issues of bullying that currently exist in Ireland.’ They believe that this is their best opportunity of addressing this problem that is as old as time to protect those that should be ‘cherished the most; the children of Ireland.’