‘No parameters with online bullies’
CHILDREN who torment people with online abuse are likely to become bullies in the real world, says a Bucks psychologist.
Dr Lynda Shaw, pictured below, from Chalfont St Giles says cyber bullying is a growing epidemic which will spawn ‘more and more problems’ for the county’s youngsters.
She said: “Cyber bullying is hideous. We have no parameters, no policing, no witnesses, and therefore people’s behaviour seems to run away with them.
“Children who are bullies grow up to be bullies at work and children who are cyber bullies will continue looking for targets until they are stopped.
“Cyber bullies can not see the hurt in somebody’s face, they are sort of detached and not quite realising the depths of that hurt they cause and, because they are doing it anonymously, they think nobody can catch them.
Cyber bullies carry out their abuse for the same old reasons as any other bullies, says Dr Shaw: low self esteem, fear, insecurity.
“And they will only pick on somebody who won’t fight back,” she said. “They need people who they can control over their own bullying which gives them a sense of power over their destiny.”
Cyber bullies occasionally feel the full wrath of the law. In a recent high profile case Isabella Sorley, 24, was jailed for three months for sending menacing tweets to the feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.
She has since given interviews expressing her regret, saying she did not know why she sent vile messages.
Yet hauling cyber bullies before the courts is not the preferable approach for Dr Shaw, who added: “They need psychological help and a psychologist to work with them to make sure the bully knows their actions are totally unacceptable.
“I think we will hear more and more problems about cyber bullying. The only way to stop it is to monitor what we put on social media and then you start losing freedom of speech.”