Welcome to the age of the Keyboard Warrior, were users alike have access and the opportunity to voice their opinion on anything and anyone. With high speed internet and mobile connectivity, people are able to gain real time information from anywhere. Can this high accessibility lead to increased cyberbullying?
Yes, yes it can. With these new opportunities, of course it can lead to potential increase in cyber bullying. With the ingrained idea of freedom of speech, we as users feel we have the right to access and openly comment on anything as we please.
But I feel it is dependent on the severity of the comment. There is a different between, “This meal was bad, ” to “No one step foot in this restaurant, I can‘t believe they‘re allowed to serve food, ” to and even further extreme of “If I see that chef on the street, I‘m going to break his leg for that f***ing desert.”
This is where we need to curb our enthusiasm and understand the meaning and power behind our words. It is up to users as a whole to help educate themselves and others on general etiquette of the internet, and to understand that there is (or should be) a consequence to these actions.
The internet can also provide the complete opposite. There are so many opportunities that this ability to openly communicate has in helping the very situation of cyber bullying. Many various organizations and support groups use the internet to offer support to those suffering from cyber bullying. We need to shift from the idea that there is a problem and focus on using this technology to educate users of the internet.
CyberSmart - http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
This is a fantastic website that has age specific applications and programs that are great in educating people on all aspects of cyberbullying and the different ways in which it occurs. I really find the 0-7 interactive games to be quite beneficial in teaching them the basics and the more sophisticated teen programs that delve not only be safe but being wise in terms of how they use the internet and their devices.
AntiBullying Network - http://www.antibullying.net/community.htm/
This website has a great amount of information for all situation. It‘s a great example to show how the internet can provide information on the matter. It‘s great in providing resources for specific groups in identifying, understanding and supporting situations were bulling may occur.
CyberBullying Info - http://www.cyberbullying.info/office.php/
This is a nice interactive web application that provides great resources as well as teaching users each aspect of cyber bullying.
There are many, many more websites and opportunities out there that can aid in the fight against cyber bullying. Even where most people feel that cyber bullying starts, the world of social media has the potential to help. There are many support groups out there, and you can start simply by educating yourself and sharing with your peers.