Written by T. E. Snyder
Image Credit: Pixabay
In my last op-ed, I touched on cyberbullying and its potential effects in triggering suicidal tendencies. As an adult, if you have participated in online forums or chat rooms, you have likely experienced being a victim of cyberbullying at some point.
To combat the problem, we need to understand the mechanisms of how bullying and cyberbullying works in a communal environment and the actors that are involved.
The Cycle of Bullying
By the Numbers
The term Cyberbullying is often defined as “the use of electronic communications (personal messages, texting, live chat rooms, etc) to bully a person(s) in an intimidating, humiliating or threatening nature.”
It is not just kids…
Nearly 75 percent of American adults have witnessed online harassment, with 40 percent experiencing the brunt of that cyberbullying, according to a survey on the subject by the Pew Research Center.
The Pew Research Center report showed the following statistics.
When it came to observing others:
- 60 percent said they witnessed someone being called offensive names
- 53 percent saw efforts to purposefully embarrass someone
- 25 percent witnessed someone being harassed for a sustained period of time
- 24 percent saw someone being physically threatened
- 19 percent said they witnessed someone being sexually harassed
- 18 percent said they saw someone stalked
Of those who personally experienced cyberbullying:
- 27 percent were called offensive names
- 22 percent had someone try to purposefully embarrass them
- 8 percent were physically threatened
- 8 percent were stalked
- 7 percent were harassed for a sustained period
- 6 percent were sexually harassed
Are Women Harassed More than Men? No…
Overall, men are somewhat more likely than women to experience at least one of the elements of online harassment, 44 percent vs. 37 percent. Men are more likely to encounter name-calling, embarrassment and physical threats.
We Can Do Better
As a society, we need to do much better. We owe it to humanity to overcome the irrational prejudices and the often toxic, phobic mindset against others who are “different” than us. Although we are all allotted an opinion, we should take greater responsibility in how our words and actions can affect others.
Often times, our opinions are nothing more than a view or judgment which is not necessarily based on any fact or knowledge. These opinions are based on our skeptical viewpoints of others belief or dogma; especially when concentrated around powder-keg topics such as politics, sexuality, abortion, race, the supernatural, morality, theism, or even general knowledge.
Our own cynicism and disenchantment with other people’s opinions, especially when foreign to our own familial, social values and environment, are viewed as threatening.
Instead of being threatened by those who are different; we should embrace our diversity.
None of Us Are Immune
We are all guilty at some point, of having viewpoints that are poorly formed and in some cases, derived from an emotional standpoint. I am as guilty as anyone of this.
In closing, let’s just be nice to each other. Hopefully, we all remember what our parents taught us —
“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”Your parents
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