This video compares cyberbullying to an epidemic. What are your thoughts on the video? Do you think the video is easily categorizes bullying? Are there different degrees and forms of bullying? What do you think constitutes as cyberbullying, and what are ways you can prevent bullying in your community?
When it comes to bullying we tend to agree that it is the act of intentionally harming others for attention, acceptance, etc. If you google “what is cyberbullying?” what kind of results would you get? You’ll get a lot of varying views on bullying in general, trust me, I just googled the question. This type of ambiguity that is present in many abstract nouns, however, with the growing importance of identifying and preventing bullying in our society, it is important to clearly define the term. danah boyd discusses this in her book, It’s Complicated. She discusses the obstacles that are present when identifying bullying in the real and virtual world.
Her main points are about untangling the dynamics of a person to understand if they are being bullied. An example she includes is about the concept of “frenemies.” Think about it, have you ever had a friend who you had a rivalry with? Have you regretted treating that friend a certain way when you tried to compete with them?
This is also portrayed in pop culture, such as in the Mean Girls film. Many would say that Regina definitely bullies the other plastics. However, the girls accept her criticisms willingly. So, does this in turn not make Regina a bully? boyd says that we need to understand the nooks and crannies of frenemies in order to understand if there is any bullying going on between them, or if it is just a friendly competition.
Another point she makes out is the dynamics at school, and online can be interpreted differently. Let’s face it, you don’t want your parents knowing your every move. As a result, parents are not aware of what interactions take place at school, or within a group of friends. By reading a comment on their child’s Facebook post there is no way to convey the tone, or know the background information (it is an inside joke, or an insult?). Additionally, cyberbullying is passive, there is no way to definitely know if it is going on. For example, if your child comes home with a black eye it’s obvious that someone punched them, or some type of accident happened at school. However, with cyberbullying there’s no way to tell if your child is feeling down because of a bad day, bad grades, or bullying (in short, it’s a guessing game).
I agree with boyd’s views as I see the media constantly categorizing acts as bullying. Also, when I think about bullying I find it hard to define. Often times I think “well if this happens this way,” “what is the context,” etc. Lastly, I believe that boyd’s main argument about what’s at stake is important. This is that the punishments bullies face can have adverse effects, and cause long-term harm. Studies have shown that positive reinforcements of good behavior is a much better approach to bullying. This article explains that in the last few paragraphs, it also covers the topic I will go over in my next few posts.
Are we easily “bully shaming” our kids today? What are your thoughts on categorizing bullying, the “real problem,” and how to deal with cyberbullying?
So this concludes my first post, I hoped you enjoyed it!
Leave some comments below on what you thought about my post, and any improvements, or new ideas you want to bring up 🙂
This blog will cover topics from my COMP 380 course at UNC Chapel Hill. Don’t worry, it won’t be too boring because I will keep things lively by adding relevant and interesting material. Most topics I will cover have to do with the computers relating to society. This will be subjects such as cyberbullying, hacking, and inequality on the web. Your comments are welcomed, so please, share your ideas, suggestions, and opinions! I will have new posts weekly, so stay tuned!