How the in­ter­net en­ables cy­ber­bul­ly­ing but pro­motes con­nec­tion

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum - Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­

The in­ter­net has a prob­lem with cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. Tech­nol­ogy is both the cul­prit and the so­lu­tion.

The in­ter­net is ca­pa­ble of con­nect­ing hu­man­ity like never be­fore. We can share in­for­ma­tion and learn more about other cul­tures. We talk on­line about our in­ter­ests. Face­book lets us con­nect with fam­ily and friends. Twit­ter al­lows us to add com­men­tary to ev­ery­day life. Th­ese can be great things, es­pe­cially when it helps us grow and helps oth­ers con­sider new view­points. Some­times oth­ers have no in­ter­est in chang­ing and would rather ar­gue and sling hurt­ful phrases and names with a painful im­me­di­acy. Too of­ten there are sto­ries of peo­ple be­ing tar­geted on­line per­haps for an opin­ion, but it can even just be for the way they look. Tar­geted on­line abuse like this is un­ac­cept­able. It hap­pens for a lot of dif­fer­ent rea­sons but is en­abled by tech­nol­ogy es­pe­cially the ma­li­cious form of on­line abuse. Tech­nol­ogy is an im­por­tant part of men­tal healthtreat­ment, par­tic­u­larly as teenagers and young adults find in­creased ways to in­cor­po­rate cell phones and com­put­ers into their busy lives. Dis­tance might make an at­tacker feel safe, and sim­i­larly can make some­one who has suf­fered bul­ly­ing or faced de­pres­sion feel alone.

De­spite this, tech can bring peo­ple to­gether if we’ll let it.

Tele­coun­selling is one piece of the puz­zle. If you live far away from a coun­selor or don’t feel com­fort­able see­ing them in per­son, you can talk over the phone, via text, or even through video con­fer­enc­ing.

Teenagers and young adults have in­cor­po­rated cell phones and com­put­ers into their busy lives.

In­ter­net can also be a so­lu­tion to prob­lems like cy­ber­bul­ly­ing if you want it to.

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