“Who are you when no one’s watching?
The human mind is a complex labyrinth of emotions. Most of us are able to keep them in check and do what is moral most of the time. Imagine, if we were given the freedom to say what we thought and to do what we want. Although such a moment has yet to arrive, some people mistake social media or the internet, in general, as such a place.
They blabber and bully whomever they feel whenever they feel without any tangible consequences. You guessed it right, we are here to discuss cyberbullying- a festering tumor in the internet community. Certain people do not understand the responsibility of their single actions. They feel that the internet is a curtain lavished upon them and hence their mischievous behavior will not have any consequence.
The most basic form of cyberbullying is commenting lewd remarks on any multimedia post they come across. Certain videos have irrational comments targeting the performer’s physique, race, gender, couture etc. Even on food channels, we see comments about unrelated and illicit topics. Bullying gets uglier if the bully feels encouraged.
As active consumers of the internet, it is our collective responsibility to look out and nip them in the bud and analyze if we are a victim or the bully itself.
For this, we have to patiently retrospect the type of presence we have created on the web. If we are enjoying remarking and indulging in demeaning and unnecessary comment-wars then we may be the bully or even worse, the encouragement a bully seeks.
Even as a victim, not reporting such activities is counted as encouragement. Bullying of any form has only one solution- Action!. The sooner we recognize and act, the more fruitful results we can get.
Nobody wants to face negativity without reason and cyberbullies make it a personal agenda to spread tension and feel the satisfaction of being the more ‘powerful’ one.
November 5, celebrated as International Day Against Violence and Bullying in Schools Including Cyberbullying is a reminder of how serious the government and people are against this sensitive topic.
The Constitution of India places proficient action against derogatory commenting, impersonation, a threat by blackmail, harassment under one umbrella of the IT Act. The laws in themselves are just and strict but the crime is multi-faceted and loosely defined.
Physical bullying in schools goes unreported or overlooked as regular children’s fight. If we cannot instill values in our posterity about harmony and brotherhood or basic social behavior, then we won’t be able to stop it on a virtual platform.
Firstly, we have to counsel the bullies- online or in school and see the reason behind their projected anger and the need to feel superior by force. Mostly, children mimic their society so we need to see what makes them justify the use of violence.
Secondly, the victim has to be taught to stand up and speak up for himself. This Day, as people determined to make the internet and our schools a place of safe, intellectual, and variegated communication we need to ponder over our social construct and the reasons behind such behavior. Until we identify the cause, we won’t be able to stop the effect.
We can be hopeful, vigilant, and pro-active to make an environment safer for our young generation and for ourselves too!