Don’t Stay Oblivious To Cyberbullying

Don't Stay Oblivious To Cyberbullying

Don’t Stay Oblivious to Cyberbullying!

That should be a moral imperative for each of us in order to raise awareness and start a dialogue with those who are silent victims of cyberbullying.

There are neither rules nor best practices to learn and follow when it comes to cyberbullying. Only those who directly or indirectly experience it, know what it means.

Anyone, anywhere, anytime may become victim of online bullying.

Information sharing over the internet is so effortlessly interwoven with daily life that connectivity is anywhere and anytime, and so online bullying is.

According to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, fully 73% of adult internet users have seen someone to be harassed online and 40% have personally experienced it.

Thus, four-in-ten internet users are victims of online harassment as target of at least one of the following behaviours:

  • 27% have been called offensive names
  • 22% have had someone try to purposefully embarrass them
  • 8% have been physically threatened
  • 7% have been harassed for a long period
  • 6% have been sexually harassed.

Online Harassment

Cyberbullying as well as bullying remains a social plague that cannot be estinguish, ingrained as it is in our human nature.

The internet in only a place where evil of human nature can spread its contagion and go viral.

No boundaries apply to human nature, no rules can restrict it, no one has the power to prevent the spiral of evil from within but everyone should be called to do something as main stakeholder of societal wellbeing.

All humans may become victims, and everyone may witness as a bystander as in the picture below.

Young people are particularly likely to witness all types of online harassment.

Among all internet users, the % who witness the following types of harassment, by age

Somewhere, there are some of our brothers and sisters who precisely now need our help.

In all circumstances, knowing how to react to bullying and how to stop the abuse can help someone else or reduce someone else’s pain.

Don’t Stay Oblivious to Cyberbullying!

But nobody should conceive online bullying simply as a generic “homo homini lupus” principle because when it comes to bullying, differently from any other fight, there is always only one wolf or there are some wolves attacking someone who is not a wolf being by far the least helpless and vulnerable creature with an enormous power imbalance compared with the wolves harassing him.

Of those who have been harassed online, 55% (22% of all internet users) have experienced the less severe forms while the rest (18% of all internet users) have fallen victim to any of the more severe kinds of harassment.

Half the times the identity of perpetrators is unknown. That fact enhances the difficulty of any help to victims.

And the victim has often no idea about how he or she can stop the violence.

A large proportion (60%) of those who have experienced it ignored the violence whereas 40% took actions to contrast it by changing username, deleting their own profile, unfriending or blocking the bully, reporting to the website, discussing the incident online or withdrawn from an online forum. Only 5% reported law enforcement while a larger part (47%) confronted the person online.

Online incidents have always an emotional impact, no matter the severity, the kind of harassment and the type of response or action needed to face them.

Among all internet users, the % who have witnessed vs. experienced the following elements of online harassment

Any harassment can be very or extremely upsetting and it is side effects may be long lasting and may severely impact reputation.

Institutions, organizations, schools and parents, all together, can do a lot to raise awareness and help victims to overcome the worst consequences.

Institutions, organizations, businesses and any other social partner have an indirect responsibility to promote lawful conducts and reinforce the dissemination of positive values, not only in the offline but also in the online.

Parents, families and teachers have the immediate and direct responsibility towards their children which is enabled only by an ongoing dialogue expecially when children are teens or tweens.

Dialogue doesn’t mean to find a certain solution or the right key to a problem. And it also doesn’t mean the absence of conflict in every case. The real meaning of dialogue is to have an immediate interest and to pay immediate attention to something that cannot be faced alone, even if it would mean dealing with an eventual conflict in order to help someone in difficulty.

Dialogue means not to stay oblivious to cyberbullying.

Dialogue doesn’t really exclude any conflict but it’s a necessary condition to unleash empathy and show promptness to address problems at their first appearance.

Dialogue also means supervision, listening, care, attention, love. It means to have a great sensibility and acumen to perceive, to notice and to realize even alarm bells which are only early signals when something is heavy going down.

Dialogue always begins with listening and goes on with sharing. By listening and sharing it also progressively enables the relationship.

No relationship is possible without dialogue. And that is extremely true within the family and at school.

Refuse staying oblivious to cyberbullying, start a dialogue now with those in need.


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