Between Us Only!
I was watching this Al Jazeera Television programe titled One on One showing increased Cyber Bullying in Australia to the extent and to dynamic proportions that one out of four College students have admitted as having been victims and suffered from Cyber Bullying! There are also increased suicides amongst teenagers because of the shame and stigma being felt under Cyber Bullying!
According to Wikipedia, Cyber Bullying (CB) is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. As it has become more common in society, particularly among young people, legislation and awareness campaigns have arisen to combat it.
Cyber bullying is defined in legal glossaries as
- Actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
- Use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person
- Use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person.
Examples of what constitutes cyber bullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyber bullying has been defined as – When the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
A cyber bully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyber bully may be anonymous and may solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target. This is known as a ‘digital pile-on’
The programme shows the teenagers suffering alone in silence – and it interviews the teenagers and asks them why they do not report the cases to their parents – or the Authorities. The common answer being that they are afraid to do so – because the first thing that the parents normally do – is to take away the gadgets from the teenagers! Wrongly thinking that in this way they are shielding and protecting their children – but this does not stop the cyber bullying – because there are other gadgets – and other people – were it is continued to be shown!
Images CB For Demonstration Purposes Only!
Sometimes, it becomes too much – the pain, stigma and all the shame – that some opt out by committing suicides! It looks like that these people desperately need fun and humour on the expenses of others in order to survive! A few months back we had the case of the Indian UK Nurse committing suicide as a result of an Australian Radio prank! It seems that the more ‘advanced’ you become in life – the longer the pecking line (order) of your victims below you are given for your choosing! In this case of CB – it is usually the ‘lonely quiet keeping to themselves’ type of characters and personalities that bear the brunt of the CB attacks!
In all my articles, I keep stressing on the same point. The other day, I received a letter from Zanzibar from a friend and he asked me to deliver a personal message to one of his relatives. When I went to the house – Big Boss was watching football matches in one room – whilst the Madam was watching soap operas in another room. When I asked about the teenager children – the answer came out the same from both – They must be out somewhere – because the cars are both out!
In a Regional Television programme (Arabic) – there was this beautiful television advertisement where it shows a young girl in need of something – or needing to talk – approaching her mother. The mother cuts in – Don’t you see I am talking on the line? Talking to her friend was more important than listening to her daughter. She goes to the father who cuts her short abruptly – Now what do you want? Thinking she wants some money or favours. The girly wryly replies – Nothing Dad – nothing!
The girl goes on to tell her problems to an ‘Aunty Advisor’ – who advises the girl to put her name in the chat rooms – and she soon gets connected to a young boy – and they start video love chats on line.
In another office place – the Boss calls his assistant – but he seems to be busy on the chat lines (office time?). And the boy brags to the boss – See my new find girlfriend! She is really hot for me! The man looks – and sees his daughter as the chatted up girl of his assistant! The advert ends with the advice and counsel – Your children are the most important part of your life – do make the time and efforts – and do listen to your children!
I fully endorse that message. I am not saying I am perfect – but I am trying hard! Very hard!
By Majid Al Suleimany