“Bullying and being picked on comes in so many different forms.”
Bullying. Not nice, full stop.
But unfortunately bullying is still prevalent in our society; in schools, in the workplace, and increasingly online. One of the underlying characteristics of a bully is cowardice, which means that online bullying, or cyber bullying, is the perfect environment for the bully to thrive.
If we’re being picky then technically speaking cyber bullying refers to young people, whereas when adults are involved it is referred to as cyber-harassment or cyber stalking; and then of course there are the Trolls – but whatever you call it, the end result is still the same.
This week saw the publication of a survey on the social networking habits of teenagers. It makes for interesting reading, with 25% reporting that they “have had an experience on a social network site that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone.”
So what can be done about it?
Facebook does provide advice if you are being bullied although it’s not easy to find. Equally difficult is to find where to report abuse on Twitter apart from the obvious facilities to block someone or “report for spam” (Please get in touch if you need help with this). There are several great Twitter accounts doing their bit including @bullyinguk and @CyberMentors as well as the celebrity @domjoly who is waging an online war against Trolls. There are also various Facebook pages dedicated to anti-bullying.
Whilst there are some great support networks out there, when someone is being bullied there is a tendency to withdraw rather than to seek help. Perhaps the most important thing that all of us can do is to keep an eye out and to offer help whenever we see bad behaviour taking place, be that online or “in real life“.
If you would like any more information on this then please feel free to get in touch. In the meantime we wish you, as always, continued happy and safe computing.